Being a great way to communicate quickly, maps can also be incredibly dense with information. When they are put to a wholesome use, maps, like apple pie and puppies, deserve to have a special place in every home.
Take, for example, the incredible work coming out of the Dutch group Mapping Worlds. They've beautifully mapped global poverty, international migration, and civil conflict. They even have a special section of maps for Millennium Development Goals!
These Nederlanders have their act together.
This is their fabulous map of the failed funding effort being undertaken by the developed world for poverty relief. (You can find a larger one on their site. You know you want to.) It's shameful, really.
If you enjoy this and have a second or two, be sure to toy with their animated, more robust version at the Center For Global Development, where they have mapped an index of international commitment to the Development Goals. No really, check that last link, it's fantastic.
Here's what they say about this project:
The Commitment to Development Index reminds the world that reducing poverty in developing countries is about far more than giving money. Trade, investment, migration, security, environment, and technology policies matter, too. Now in its third year, the CDI ranks 21 of the richest nations on their performance in each policy area, giving you the big picture. View the rankings in charts, learn what the Index rewards and penalizes, compare country report cards, and post comments or suggestions.
It's an amazing bit of scripting, for sure.