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World Cartogram of Mobile Phone Adoption

20 Nov
World Cartogram of Mobile Phone Adoption

Under the slogan “Our Changing World”, FedEx has developed a website with various cartograms showing world-wide socio-economic changes based on publicly available data from sources such as World Bank, UNESCO, World Health Organization and others.

Cartograms visualize a particular metric by adjusting a country’s size corresponding to that metric. It leaves country neighborhood relationships (which we blogged about here) intact, but inflates or deflates countries, often dramatically so. Here is a series of three cartograms showing the adoption of mobile phones in the years 1995, 2000, and 2008. Size of each country is proportional to the density of mobile phones (average # mobile phones per 100 people).

Mobile Phone Density 1995

Mobile Phone Density 2000

Mobile Phone Density 2008

From the Topic Info on the Mobile Phone Presence display:

In 1996, mobile phones were a Nordic phenomenon. A Swede was twice as likely as an American to awn one, and five times as likely as a German. Skip forward four years and the picture changed radically. Mobile phone usage boomed ten-fold across Europe; most European nations caught up with their northern neighbours. Eight years later. Africa suddenly loomed large. Mobile-phone penetration in same emerging economies now outstrips that of the developed world; Algeria tops the US. In most countries, mobile phone use is now ubiquitous. Lacking a mobile phone is more striking today than possessing one.

Indeed, it’s hard to find a country with very small mobile phone presence – and then to pinpoint it on the cartogram. One country I found was Cuba: While most countries in the Americas have between 50-100, Cuba has only 3 mobile phones per 100 people.

A few months ago Nathan Yau covered this topic on his FlowingData Blog here. As he already suggested, there are many more data to explore on FedEx’s website, so check it out for yourself here.

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Posted by on November 20, 2011 in Industrial, Scientific, Socioeconomic

 

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