OpenStreetMap is a global map, and has ways to map and record places of worship (church, mosque, etc). By analyzing the data in OSM, I was able to make a map of the world's religions:
Religions of the world
Based on which religion is most common
How common is christianity around the world
How it works
I wrote a programme that splits the world in 0.1° points, and finds the 10 closest places of worships' to that point. The most popular religion "wins" and is used as a colouring for that box.
White or faded areas are places that are far from any place of worship in the OpenStreetMap database, so we shouldn't extrapolate too much for them. Since this is a map of what's in the OSM database, it will be much more accurate in developed world countries than in developing world areas.
- There are some Voodoo and Animism places in Haiti
- Note the muslim concentrations in some large Western European cities (Birmingham, etc.)
- Japan is an alternating patchwork of Shinto and Buddhi
There are a few interesting follow on religion maps that could be made:
- Look at the christian denominations within Europe
- Look at the christian denominations within North America
- Look at the Shinto vs. Buddhist within Japan
- Rather than looking at the most popular religion, calculate a christian/muslim/etc. score based on how close the nearest one is
I have genericised this a custom tool: OSMStatAggregator.
The map is the Robinson Projection, which was used by the National Geographic Society. I dislike the Mercator Projection for distoring land area so far north.
- The map is based on data from the OpenStreetMap project, and is © OpenStreetMap contributors, and that data is available under the Open Data Commons Open Database License (ODbL).
- The map images/tiles on this page is Copyright © 2013 Rory McCann, released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC-BY-SA) licence.