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February 16th, 2009
SHOW®USA Launches: New Website Showcases Animated Maps of U.S. Facts and Figures

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SHOW®USA, a website with a mapping application that displays a wide variety of information about the fifty states in a whole new way, launched today.

From Spanish speakers to bales of cotton produced to number of UFO sightings, SHOW®USA (show.mappingworlds.com) displays each state’s numbers in animated, easy-to-understand maps that resize the state to the data rather than geographical area. The results are cartograms that bring the numbers to life—and reveal a few surprises.

“Look at our Tornado Deaths map, for instance,” says the site’s
creator, Desmond Spruijt. “The most people killed last year by
tornadoes were in Florida. It makes you wonder why it wasn’t in the
Midwest, where our Tornadoes map shows the most storms. It turns out
states like Oklahoma have better warning systems and more storm
shelters, not to mention fewer people. The visual presentation makes
you think about the data, to understand it better.”

Spruijt is founder of MappingWorlds (www.mappingworlds.com), a company
that helps government, non-profit, and business clients worldwide
create innovative maps and cartograms. SHOW®USA is the sister site of
SHOW®WORLD, which presents maps with data on the countries of the world
in the same way.

SHOW®USA and SHOW®WORLD are free for public use, with no registration
or personal information collected. Users can download the numbers
behind the maps, which come from dozens of sources like the U.S. Census
Bureau, capture and use an image of a map with animation, hyperlink to
any map, and post comments about each one—all at no charge.

“To us, maps are more than pictures, they are communication and
education tools,” says Spruijt. “We want people to use the SHOW®USA
maps in slide shows or research papers, in the classroom—wherever our
maps can make simple numbers come alive—and also to start conversations
about them on our site. SHOW®USA and SHOW®WORLD also show off the kind
of innovative maps we create for our clients at MappingWorlds.”

Spruijt founded MappingWorlds in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, in 2004.
The company’s clients include the United Nations, the World Bank, and
the International Monetary Fund.

The maps available on SHOW®USA touch on nearly every aspect of the land
and people of America. Some of the current maps include : Hispanics,
rural population, people with disabilities, drunk driving deaths, U.S.
military deaths in Iraq, people without health insurance, strawberry
production, natural gas reserves, casinos, federal farm support
received, electoral college votes, food stamp recipients, gay
marriages, murders, hate crimes, immigrants, charitable contributions,
foreclosures, roller coasters, number of presidents born in each state,
and Bigfoot sightings. With 141 maps so far, the site is still adding
data and plans to have several hundred maps on display.

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