Friday, January 08, 2010

A sense of proportion

Ana Samways at Sideswipe highlights the lack of geographical knowledge on American Airlines:

Like the island in Lost, NZ is off the charts. Maybe the writing staff for that torpid rag were playing silly buggers with their subeditors, or maybe it is blind ignorance after all. You could fill the universe with things Americans don't know.

There are a few bright sparks amongst the idiocracy, for example the guy who came up with this idea:
Worldmapper is a collection of world maps, where territories are re-sized on each map according to the subject of interest.

That's the land area squeezed and stretched to represent the world population distribution. NZ looks about the same as usual, although Oz and the US look skeletal. In fact, NZ looks remarkably proportionate in a lot of the charts. Take this Tourism Profit map showing that the Spanish Empire still exists in the hospitality sector:

The one chart that really bloats NZ up is the meat exports one:

Speaking of meat exports, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to NZ will be interesting, or as Tim Wilson explains, a good get. Will Hillary freak out, he asks. More to the point, will NZ? There's Free Trade to talk about, as well as that pesky Top Secret Copyright Treaty to horse trade over. Oh, Worldmapper has a royalties chart too, where again NZ looks decidedly average alongside the corpulent US:

There's a lot at stake. It'll be interesting to see just how far Murray McCully and John Key are prepared to sell NZ down the river.