I had the idea that animated maps could be a very cool way of presenting data. You could show changes over time and space of any quantity that we collect, and do it in a way that is much more intuitive and appealing than graphs or databases of numbers.

After some considerable (though not exhaustive) searching, these were the most interesting animated maps I found, and I think they are worth watching. I have to say, though, that my overall impression is that this is a sadly underused technique. Come on, data people! Off the top of my head, I’d like to see animations of demographic shifts, weather and climate changes, number of scientific papers published, regime change by region… Get creative!

I should say, before presenting the map animations I found, that I either do not know or am not certain of the accuracy of the sources of the data presented in these animations. Data presentation can be used to inform or mislead, and I do not present these as True, just Interesting.

Several religions mapped over time:


This one starts slow, but the first several minutes of nothing happening make the last couple minutes fairly shocking: