FatFonts and a World Population Map

Looking for an unusual Christmas gift? Look no further, the first ever FatFonts World Population Map is now available in the Axis Maps store. All proceeds from the maps will fund more research and help us provide exciting internships for students.


Created by Miguel Nacenta and Uta Hinrichs, the map shows how the population of the world is distributed. It uses a typographic visualization technique – FatFonts which allows you to read the exact number of people living in a particular area with a precision within 100,000 people. View the gallery of lytro pictures for further images.

FatFonts are also available to download and use, or for the more inspired, try creating your own.

Although a quirky idea, FatFonts seem to have a bunch of usages… for example, they are convenient when you want to provide a table of numbers that is also a graphical representation. This allows the viewer (or the reader) to very quickly capture the overall distribution, but also to go in and read the specific number, which they can then use to compare to other numbers (in the FatFonts table or in their heads).

FatFonts are great in maps, and that is why Uta and I set out to create a poster that would give a picture of one of the most pressing issues of our time: world population. Thanks to SICSA (and our wonderful helpers Carson, Jed, and Michael), we got the time, money and support to develop the idea. The result is a poster that represents the population of the world using FatFonts. – Miguel Nacenta

Read more about the World Map and FatFonts on Miguel’s blog, the SACHI blog and at FatFonts.

Honorary Professor John Stasko

Dean Dearle, Professor Quigley with Professor StaskoProfessor John Stasko and the Associate Chair of the School of Interactive Computing in the College of Computing at Georgia Tech has been appointed as an Honorary Professor in the School of Computer Science. This appointment comes following a SICSA distinguished visiting fellowship John was awarded. This fellowship allowed John to participate in the SACHI/Big Data Lab summer school in Big Data Information Visulisation in St Andrews. This industry linked summer school has successful paved the way for a new generation of students to explore Data Science and Information Visualisation.
Professor Stasko at the Big Data Info Vis Summer School 2013
John is a newly elected fellow of the IEEE for his contributions to information visualization, visual analytics and human-computer interaction. Professor Quigley who has known John for the past 14 years and said, “I’m delighted John will join us a honorary Professor here in St Andrews. His world leading research and experience in Information Visualisation will be of great benefit to our staff, students and colleagues across the University. I first met John when I was a PhD student and organiser of a Software Visualisation conference we held in Sydney. Then, as now, his enthusiasm, breath of knowledge and desire to engage and work with others marks him out as a true intellectual thought leader. We hope to see John here regularly in the years ahead and we will be working with him on new projects.”