MapCarte 125/365: Where on earth have you been? by The Guardian, 2014


A lot is currently being made of personalised geographies and maps that reflect our supposed desire to see content filtered in some way by what map-makers think we might want to see. Google are pioneering personalised content in Google Maps based on our search histories and other preferences. But there’s always been a far simpler way of understanding personalised geographies. Sometimes these are as basic as a world map in a pub where patrons are invited to place a pin to show their location…thus the map of the pub’s patronage takes shape. We may even have a map at home in which we place pins to show where we’ve been.

The Guardian, in collaboration with Kiln have created a simple application that allows us to create our personalised world of travel. The map requires you to input the countries you have visited and the number of times you’ve been there. It’s a simple interface to add your information and the map is then built. What this app does very well is not just default to a shaded choropleth but turn the data into a density equalizing cartogram. Countries visited are shown proportional to each other in size. The map is then presented as if on a folded piece of paper with a nicely constructed layout. You can print your map or share it.

Of course, what’s really going on is The Guardian is collecting data through the choices of our selections which is possibly the real purpose of the map. They still achieve that aim by making the application interesting, simple and designed to encourage participation.

Simple. Fun. Eye-catching. Visit The Guardian’s web site here to make your own personalised map.