Felix Pharand’s maps show human impact on Earth

On the last day of October 2011, the U.N. says the world population will hit seven billion people — an increase of one billion since 1999.

To show some of the impacts of this vast human upheaval, Canadian anthropologist Felix Pharand has created a series of visualizations mapping the presence of technology onto a selection of satellite images showing the Earth from space.

Using data from a range of sources, including the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and the World Meteorological Organization, the images depict a sprawl of air traffic routes, the underwater cables that carry the internet, road and rail networks, pipelines, shipping lanes and electricity transmission lines.

These images are illustrations of how far we have come at transforming our home planet,” said Pharand, who is founder-director of Globaia — an environmental education organization based in Quebec.

“It shows a human-dominated planet where wilderness areas are shrinking and where the habitats of other species are decreasing in size,” he added.

‘Nuff said. RTFA. Look at the maps.

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