USING CARTOGRAMS TO MAP POPULATION
due: July 27
In this lesson, students in groups of 2 will make their own cartograms
illustrating the population of their region, or a part of their region (at
least 10 political units).
What is a cartogram?
Cartograms are thematic maps used to illustrate some feature other than
area. The cartographer keeps the countries in the same shape and
relative location, but the size of each country is changed according
to the size of the statistic is for that particular theme.
1. Graph paper
2. Colored pencils or markers
3. List of population statistics for the countries of your region (listed
in the appendix at the back of Building Geographic Literacy).
- Each group of 2 will be making their own cartograms. If there are more
than two in your regional group, pick different subregions (West Africa,
Southern Africa) or population themes to map (infant mortality, life expectancy,
- Determine the number of squares on the graph paper by counting down
and across, and multiplying. Compare this with the total number of people
in your region.
- Determine how many people each square will stand for on the population
cartogram. Remember to leave room for white space on the cartogram.
- Divide the population of each country by the population of the region
to get its percentage of the regional population.
- Remember to keep the shapes and relative locations as accurate as possible.
- For a cartogram with a more pleasing appearance, lay a plain white
sheet of paper over the graph paper, and trace the patterns on the plain
- Outline the countries with a fine line black marker.
- Every map must have a title. "Cartogram of Population of __________"
- Every map must have a legend (key). These cartograms should have either
be a statement such as "one square equals 1 million people" or
the square may be illustrated and followed by the statement "= 1 million
Adapted from a lesson plan by Tim Pelkofer
- © Latin America Data Base, Latin American Institute