12 Maps That Tell the Story of 2017


To ring in the new year, we at CARTO wanted to look back and showcase some of the maps that tell the story of 2017.

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12 Maps That Tell the Story of 2017

2017 was an eventful year  shaped by a confluence of environmental  social and political moments that impacted people across the globe. Though global in their scope and impact  many of these events were local  impacting various locations in different ways. To ring in the new year  we at CARTO wanted to look back and showcase some of the maps that tell the story of 2017.

The Total Solar Eclipse

If there is one thing that can bring people together  it is the shared awe that is felt when presented with the vastness and majesty of the celestial universe. The 2017 solar eclipse  was a source of countless clever tweets and hopefully helped to create a new generation of astrophysicists. The team at CARTO put together The Total Solar Eclipse Map to Rule All Solar Eclipse Maps  providing insight into the best spots for optimal eclipse viewing.



Global Refugee Crisis

The global refugee crisis continued to be a major story in 2017. With millions of people displaced from Syria and other Middle Eastern countries  as well as the growing Rohingya crisis in Myanmar  tensions and challenges continue to arise as the nations around the world attempt to shelter and protect the world’s refugees. But with limited opportunities for asylum  refugees continue to find themselves at extreme risk around the globe.

The UNHCR’s Refugee Project maps out 42 years of refugee movement  and is an incredible reference for not only the past but also the future of global refugee movement:


The Refugee Project


Visualizer Hans Hack’s Aleppo in London/Berlin overlays the damage to the city during Syria’s civil war on maps of these European capitals  providing incredible insight into the scope of the destruction that forced many Syrians from their homes:


Aleppo in London


International Sanctions

The imposition of sanctions against nations like Russia  North Korea  and Iran  and entities within those nations has dominated much of the political conversation in recent years. With changing priorities coming out of the Trump White House  2017 has been no different. Enigma’s Sanctions Tracker maps the full picture of U.S. sanctions since 1994 and makes it easy to see the changes to U.S. foreign policy priorities in 2017.  

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Global Cyber Attacks

In the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election the importance of cybersecurity and the impact of cyber attacks has been painted in stark relief. Norse  a cyber-security company that provides threat attack intelligence  and its Cyber Attacks data visualization mapping the sources and targets of cyber attacks in real time  are a powerful tool reflecting our focus on cybersecurity in 2017 and its vast importance in the years to come.


Aleppo in London


Natural Disasters and Global Climate change

The impact of global climate change was strongly felt in 2017  and embodied in the preponderance of natural disasters. With global damage estimates reaching $300 Billion  the deadly hurricanes  earthquakes and wildfires of the past year have proven incredibly costly.

Hurricanes Irma  Harvey and Maria battered the United states and Caribbean this fall  resulting in massive structural damage and loss of life.


Hurricane Irma


Flooding this summer in South Asia  for example  resulted in over 1000 fatalities:


Hurricane Irma


Hopefully 2017 can serve as a reminder as to the importance of prevention and preparedness as humanity continues to fight global climate change.

Catalonia and Beyond

With the Catalan Independence referendum in October  the eyes of the world were turned to Spain. Elsewhere across Europe  separatist groups and independence movements continued to grow in 2017  including in Scotland where Brexit may lead to another referendum on independence. The Guardian has mapped out some of the largest and most vocal independence movements across the continent.


Beyond Catalonia


The Geographic Divide of Oscar Films

2017 has brought us a mountain of powerful films from a diverse group of young artists  but the year’s cinematic story got off to a bit of a rocky start at the 2017 Oscars  due to a memorable award announcement snafu. The team over at The Pudding took the opportunity to see if cultural and geographical divides corresponded in relation to 2017 Oscar-nominated films.


Moonlight Popularity


Whose Heritage? Public Symbols of the Confederacy

In mid-August 2017  the “Unite the Right” Rally  held by heavily armed white supremacists to denounce the removal of Charlottesville  Virginia’s Robert E. Lee statue  and the subsequent counter-protest  was one of the years most tragic and explosive events. In the wake of the event  and the murder of counter-protester Heather Heyer  a number of other confederate monuments around the country were removed. The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Public Confederate Symbol map tracks the location of these divisive monuments.


Symbols of the Confederacy


The Amplification of Women’s Voices

2017 was bookended by major events reflecting the amplification of women’s voices around the world. Though the biggest of the Women’s Marches was in Washington  DC  with approximately half a million marchers  these protests advocating for improved women’s and human rights went truly global  with worldwide participation estimates reaching 5 Million.

Count Love  a visualization of location data related to resistance protests is headlined by Women’s Marches around the US:


Count Love


In October 2017  the #MeToo movement shed light on the prevalence of misogyny  sexual harassment  and sexual assault against women globally and amplified the voices of victims. Below  use of the hashtag around the world is mapped out from October 15th through 17 as the movement went viral:




Here in the age of social media  where people around the globe are more connected than ever  maps can help us to transcend language barriers and tell important stories. We look forward to seeing how 2018 redraws the world again.