But most of the maps hanging on our walls are dangerously incomplete because they emphasize political borders rather than functional connections.
The world has less than 500,000 kilometers of borders.
By comparison, it has 64 million km of highways, 4 million km of railways, 2 million km of pipelines and more than 1 million km of Internet cables all part of a rapidly expanding global infrastructural Matrix.
As such, in the 21st century, we need maps that show connections over divisions, for these reveal not only how we cooperate across borders, but also the valuable corridors of energy, trade and data that we compete over.
Here are 5 of the most important maps for the future. The next president would be wise to study them carefully.
These maps are part of a set designed exclusively for the publication of Parag Khanna’s new book, “Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization.”