The Demers Population Map

It’s hard not to notice the huge world population map in the north wing (east side) of the third floor stairwell of Ellison Hall. Undergraduate Steve Demers created it shortly before getting his BA in Geography in 2002. The project was funded by Professor Keith Clarke, and Steve spent several weeks completing the project. If you look closely, you’ll notice that Steve used several different figures in the mural, each one representing 10 million people. The figures began as photos of people walking around campus that Steve shot from the 5th floor of Ellison Hall. He then simplified the photos and, working on a scaffold, carefully hand painted each figure across the 20-foot span of walls. Technically, Steve’s “map” is a non-contiguous cartogram, a type of graphic that depicts attributes of geographic objects as the object’s area. Steve currently works at the Riverside County Tax Assessor’s office in their Mapping Department.