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Tile maps go global

New tile maps of Africa and resources on how to build them

· gis,map,how to

We often see tile grid maps of the US states, which provide an alternative to a cholopleth map, and it's fun to see this viz format being used on a more global scale.

The big difference is that tile maps give equal size to every geographic area (state, country, etc.), rather than having the larger areas dominate the view. NPR had a great summary from a while back on tile maps, their use cases, and their evolution (Let's Tesselate).

The ONE Campaign has a new tile grid map of Africa in their new scrollytelling feature on How the Internet Can Help End Extreme Poverty, which combines a tile map layout with an icon matrix with each dot representing 1% of the population of a country. (HT Jon Schwabish, image credit to the ONE Campaign).

If you're interested in learning more about how to build these kind of visualizations as a non-designer, here are how-to's for Excel (also here), Tableau, or with a bit more code. Alternately, you could collaborate with a graphic designer.

What are your thoughts on this approach to maps? Any other great examples of this viz type that you've seen?

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