In the 1970’s Bob Abramms founded ODT, Inc. which offered
consulting and training to companies wishing to develop and
honor diversity in the workforce. Among the many
mind-expanding tools that Bob used in presentations and
workshops were a variety of maps, finding that they were
excellent devices for showing different perspectives.
Eventually, ODT began selling those alternative maps, and
today most of the company’s business is in the publishing
and distribution of products that offer "different ways to
see the world."
Bob served as projector director for the Population Map.
He began the project in the spring of 2001. He had seen
various cartogram representations and felt that they lacked
the full power that the current map could convey. He
networked via the internet with Fred Pearce in the UK for
the historical population figures and with Bill Yoder in
Arizona for the GIS cartograms of the data that became the
thumbnails at the bottom of the map. Paul Breding was the
natural choice for the cartography on the main map, as he
had done an earlier version.
Denis Wood guided the map's design and wrote the
supplementary text on the panels of the Population Map. Bob and Denis Wood had
collaborated on the book, Seeing Through Maps. Bob
deferred to nearly all of Denis’ concerns, but over-ruled
him on selected issues.