This is what the world economy actually looks like.

World Economy Base

Sociologist Benjamin Leffel, scholar of global cities, has mapped the global fabric of the world economy, accounting for all headquarter-branch connections of major corporations between the cities of the world, making visible what is called the ‘world city network’.

This is the most comprehensive largest world city network currently in existence, accounting for 30,405 corporations across 22,311 cities.

Amazed by the strength of this dataset, I decided to reach out to Benjamin to see if we could collaborate on a more artistic render of his data. Here is the result…

3D animation of the world economy

Using a NASA Earth image, I created an animated 3D data visualization revealing how global our economy is.

In one visual, we see how incredibly concentrated the corporate world is the US and Europe, the burgeoning coastal areas in Africa and Latin America area and how integrated East Asia is becoming in the world economy.

Note that for aesthetic purposes, only 30% of the edges are displayed. Otherwise, we can’t even see the earth… The render, which took a few hours, was done in Houdini using Entagma’s excellent guidance.

 

This story is just the beginning of our collaboration, if you want to learn more about global economy and cities make sure to follow Benjamin Leffel.

For more crazy data visualizations and data art you can find me here: Kirell Benzi on Twitter.