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. 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.
Abramms felt that existing maps lacked the full power that a
population map could convey.