VSL:WEB // See the whole world, whirled

Hold the globe up to a funhouse mirror and you’ll get a sense of what the Atlas of the Real World’s all about: Here, you’ll find a series of global maps, all of which reshape countries according to various demographic rankings.

Take housing prices: On that map, Western Europe is as big as — well — a house, but Africa barely registers. India and China rule the rails (hence their plump presence on the trains map), while the U.S. dominates the skies. Which country is just bursting with mopeds? Greece is the word! China was the richest country 2,000 years ago — and according the projected 2015 map, it’ll be the richest country in the world again soon. And anyone who’s nostalgic for the Cold War can take comfort in the
nuclear-weapons map
: The U.S. and Russia are as massive as they ever were.

This post is from Observer Short List—an email of three favorite things from people you want to know. Sign up to receive OSL here. VSL:WEB // See the whole world, whirled