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This Map Shows the Most Extreme Comparison of Population Density We’ve Seen

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You may have heard that the majority of the world’s population actually lives within a relatively small circle that covers China, India, Japan, and other parts of Southeast Asia.

That’s a pretty extreme example of population density – but here’s one that is even more impressive.

It’s quite simple actually: it compares parts of the most expansive regions (Canada, Russia, non-coastal USA, Greenland, Australia, and others) with a tiny chunk of land that holds close to 400 million people.

An Extreme Comparison of Population Density

The following image comes to us from Metrocosm, the website of data visualization expert Max Galka.

Bangladesh and three provinces in India, which are highlighted in red, take up just 160,000 sq. mi (415,000 sq. km) – that’s smaller than California. Together they hold more population than all of the blue territories on the map.

An Extreme Comparison of Population Density

That’s right, the blue area contains the entirety of many significant countries, such as Canada, Australia, Norway, Sweden, and Saudi Arabia. The blue even includes parts of China, the United States, and most of Russia.

Getting More Extreme

Here’s the kicker – the disparity is only getting more intense. Take a look at the following map of the fastest growing cities, showing the rate of new citizens per hour:

Fastest Growing Cities

Dhaka, the largest city in Bangladesh, is one of the fastest growing cities in the world with a growth rate of 74 people per hour. Kolkata (India) is also up there, adding 32 citizens every hour.

Meanwhile, the cities within the blue area of the original map do not have the same kind of growth happening at all.

For the Numbers Geeks

Here are the original calculations, from Metrocosm, for the blue and red areas of the original map in case you are interested. It’s worth noting that the data was retrieved in 2015, so it is slightly out of date.

The “Blue” Regions

JurisdictionRegionPopulation
CanadaAll35,010,000
Saudi ArabiaAll28,123,000
AustraliaAll22,280,000
RussiaSiberian Federal District19,254,300
NigerAll18,124,000
KazakhstanAll16,137,000
MaliAll14,478,000
ZambiaAll14,440,000
RussiaNorthwestern Federal District13,583,800
ChadAll12,620,000
RussiaUral Federal District12,082,700
BoliviaAll10,610,000
SomaliaAll10,295,000
SwedenAll9,437,000
BrazilPará8,073,924
Papua New GuineaAll7,440,000
ParaguayAll6,844,000
RussiaFar Eastern Federal District6,291,900
Libyan Arab JamahiriyaAll5,918,217
ChinaQinghai5,626,722
TurkmenistanAll5,411,000
FinlandAll5,408,000
NorwayAll4,985,000
IrelandAll4,804,000
New ZealandAll4,436,000
Central African RepublicAll4,191,429
BrazilAmazonas3,873,743
MauritaniaAll3,623,000
Republic of the CongoAll3,609,851
UruguayAll3,412,000
BrazilMato Grosso3,224,357
LithuaniaAll3,173,000
OmanAll3,110,000
ChinaTibet3,002,166
United StatesUtah2,942,902
United StatesKansas2,904,021
MongoliaAll2,809,000
BrazilMato Grosso do Sul2,619,657
NamibiaAll2,352,000
LatviaAll2,210,000
BotswanaAll2,068,000
United StatesNebraska1,881,503
BrazilRondônia1,748,531
ArgentinaMendoza1,741,610
United StatesIdaho1,634,464
GabonAll1,597,000
BrazilTocantins1,496,880
EstoniaAll1,338,000
ArgentinaSalta1,215,207
ArgentinaChaco1,053,466
United StatesMontana1,023,579
ArgentinaCorrientes993,338
CyprusAll911,000
ArgentinaSantiago del Estero896,461
United StatesSouth Dakota853,175
FijiAll828,046
BrazilAcre790,101
GuyanaAll757,000
BrazilAmapá750,912
United StatesNorth Dakota739,482
United StatesAlaska736,732
ArgentinaSan Juan680,427
ArgentinaJujuy672,260
ArgentinaRío Negro633,374
GreeceCrete620,000
United StatesWyoming584,153
ArgentinaNeuquén550,334
SurinameAll540,000
ArgentinaFormosa527,895
Western SaharaAll507,160
ArgentinaChubut506,668
BrazilRoraima496,936
Solomon IslandsAll472,419
ArgentinaSan Luis431,588
ArgentinaCatamarca367,820
BahamasAll360,000
IcelandAll347,000
BelizeAll335,000
ArgentinaLa Rioja331,847
FranceCorsica322,000
ArgentinaLa Pampa316,940
ArgentinaSanta Cruz272,524
VanuatuAll267,000
New CaledoniaAll266,000
French GuianaAll250,377
GuamAll165,124
ChileMagallanes y la Antártica Chilena159,152
ArgentinaTierra del Fuego, Antártida e Islas del Atlántico Sur126,190
MicronesiaAll103,549
KiribatiAll102,351
ChileAysén del General Carlos Ibáñez del Campo98,413
GreenlandAll57,475
Northern Mariana IslandsAll53,855
GalapagosAll25,000
PalauAll20,918
Falkland Islands (Malvinas)All3,000
SvalbardAll2,642
Norfolk IslandAll2,169
French Southern and Antarctic LandsAll0
South Georgia South Sandwich IslandsAll0

The “Red” Regions

JurisdictionRegionPopulation
BangladeshAll172,019,000
IndiaBihar99,000,000
IndiaWest Bengal90,320,000
IndiaJharkhand32,000,000

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Maps

Mapped: The State of Facial Recognition Around the World

Mass surveillance is becoming the status quo. This map dives into the countries where facial recognition technology is in place, and how it’s used.

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Mapping The State of Facial Recognition Around the World

View the high resolution version of this infographic by clicking here.

From public CCTV cameras to biometric identification systems in airports, facial recognition technology is now common in a growing number of places around the world.

In its most benign form, facial recognition technology is a convenient way to unlock your smartphone. At the state level though, facial recognition is a key component of mass surveillance, and it already touches half the global population on a regular basis.

Today’s visualizations from SurfShark classify 194 countries and regions based on the extent of surveillance.

Facial Recognition StatusTotal Countries
In Use98
Approved, but not implemented12
Considering technology13
No evidence of use68
Banned3

Click here to explore the full research methodology.

Let’s dive into the ways facial recognition technology is used across every region.

North America, Central America, and Caribbean

In the U.S., a 2016 study showed that already half of American adults were captured in some kind of facial recognition network. More recently, the Department of Homeland Security unveiled its “Biometric Exit” plan, which aims to use facial recognition technology on nearly all air travel passengers by 2023, to identify compliance with visa status.

Facial Recognition North America Map

Perhaps surprisingly, 59% of Americans are actually in favor of implementing facial recognition technology, considering it acceptable for use in law enforcement according to a Pew Research survey. Yet, some cities such as San Francisco have pushed to ban surveillance, citing a stand against its potential abuse by the government.

Facial recognition technology can potentially come in handy after a natural disaster. After Hurricane Dorian hit in late summer of 2019, the Bahamas launched a blockchain-based missing persons database “FindMeBahamas” to identify thousands of displaced people.

South America

The majority of facial recognition technology in South America is aimed at cracking down on crime. In fact, it worked in Brazil to capture Interpol’s second-most wanted criminal.

Facial Recognition South America Map

Home to over 209 million, Brazil soon plans to create a biometric database of its citizens. However, some are nervous that this could also serve as a means to prevent dissent against the current political order.

Europe

Belgium and Luxembourg are two of only three governments in the world to officially oppose the use of facial recognition technology.

Facial Recognition Europe Map

Further, 80% of Europeans are not keen on sharing facial data with authorities. Despite such negative sentiment, it’s still in use across 26 European countries to date.

The EU has been a haven for unlawful biometric experimentation and surveillance.

—European Digital Rights (EDRi)

In Russia, authorities have relied on facial recognition technology to check for breaches of quarantine rules by potential COVID-19 carriers. In Moscow alone, there are reportedly over 100,000 facial recognition enabled cameras in operation.

Middle East and Central Asia

Facial recognition technology is widespread in this region, notably for military purposes.

Facial Recognition Middle East and Central Asia Map

In Turkey, 30 domestically-developed kamikaze drones will use AI and facial recognition for border security. Similarly, Israel has a close eye on Palestinian citizens across 27 West Bank checkpoints.

In other parts of the region, police in the UAE have purchased discreet smart glasses that can be used to scan crowds, where positive matches show up on an embedded lens display. Over in Kazakhstan, facial recognition technology could replace public transportation passes entirely.

East Asia and Oceania

In the COVID-19 battle, contact tracing through biometric identification became a common tool to slow the infection rates in countries such as China, South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore. In some instances, this included the use of facial recognition technology to monitor temperatures as well as spot those without a mask.

Facial Recognition East Asia Oceania Map

That said, questions remain about whether the pandemic panopticon will stop there.

China is often cited as a notorious use case of mass surveillance, and the country has the highest ratio of CCTV cameras to citizens in the world—one for every 12 people. By 2023, China will be the single biggest player in the global facial recognition market. And it’s not just implementing the technology at home–it’s exporting too.

Africa

While the African continent currently has the lowest concentration of facial recognition technology in use, this deficit may not last for long.

Facial Recognition World Map

Several African countries, such as Kenya and Uganda, have received telecommunications and surveillance financing and infrastructure from Chinese companies—Huawei in particular. While the company claims this has enabled regional crime rates to plummet, some activists are wary of the partnership.

Whether you approach facial recognition technology from public and national security lens or from an individual liberty perspective, it’s clear that this kind of surveillance is here to stay.

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History

Incredible Map of Pangea With Modern-Day Borders

Many millions of years ago, the world was one. This nifty map shows this Pangea supercontinent overlaid with modern country borders.

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Incredible Map of Pangea With Modern-Day Borders

As volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occasionally remind us, the earth beneath our feet is constantly on the move.

Continental plates only move around 1-4 inches per year, so we don’t notice the tectonic forces that are continually reshaping the surface of our planet. But on a long enough timeline, those inches add up to big changes in the way landmasses on Earth are configured.

Today’s map, by Massimo Pietrobon, is a look back to when all land on the planet was arranged into a supercontinent called Pangea. Pietrobon’s map is unique in that it overlays the approximate borders of present day countries to help us understand how Pangea broke apart to form the world that we know today.

Pangea: The World As One

Pangea was the latest in a line of supercontinents in Earth’s history.

Pangea began developing over 300 million years ago, eventually making up one-third of the earth’s surface. The remainder of the planet was an enormous ocean known as Panthalassa.

As time goes by, scientists are beginning to piece together more information on the climate and patterns of life on the supercontinent. Similar to parts of Central Asia today, the center of the landmass is thought to have been arid and inhospitable, with temperatures reaching 113ºF (45ºC). The extreme temperatures revealed by climate simulations are supported by the fact that very few fossils are found in the modern day regions that once existed in the middle of Pangea. The strong contrast between the Pangea supercontinent and Panthalassa is believed to have triggered intense cross-equatorial monsoons.

By this unique point in history, plants and animals had spread across the landmass, and animals (such as dinosaurs) were able to wander freely across the entire expanse of Pangea.

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Around 200 million years ago, magma began to swell up through a weakness in the earth’s crust, creating the volcanic rift zone that would eventually cleave the supercontinent into pieces. Over time, this rift zone would become the Atlantic Ocean. The most visible evidence of this split is in the similar shape of the coastlines of modern-day Brazil and West Africa.

Present-day North America broke away from Europe and Africa, and as the map highlights, Atlantic Canada was once connected to Spain and Morocco.

The concept of plate tectonics is behind some of modern Earth’s most striking features. The Himalayas, for example, were formed after the Indian subcontinent broke off the eastern side of Africa and crashed directly into Asia. Many of the world’s tallest mountains were formed by this process of plate convergence – a process that, as far as we know, is unique to Earth.

What the Very Distant Future Holds

Since the average continent is only moving about 1 foot (0.3m) every decade, it’s unlikely you’ll ever be alive to see an epic geographical revision to the world map.

However, for whatever life exists on Earth roughly 300 million years in the future, they may have front row seats in seeing the emergence of a new supercontinent: Pangea Proxima.

As the above video from the Paleomap Project shows, Pangea Proxima is just one possible supercontinent configuration that occurs in which Australia slams into Indonesia, and North and South America crash into Africa and Antarctica, respectively.

Interestingly, Pangea Proxima could have a massive inland sea, mainly made up of what is the Indian Ocean today. Meanwhile, the other oceans would combine into one superocean that would take up the majority of the Earth’s surface.

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