A freelance mapmaker has whipped up a creation highlighting how much of New Zealand is uninhabited.

"Nobody Lives Here" uses 1 square kilometre gridded population estimates to show which areas have no inhabitants.

Its creator, Andrew Douglas-Clifford, said he got the idea from a map he saw online, of uninhabited areas of France.

He decided to copy the idea to see how we compared, and said the results were fascinating.


"What was most interesting about New Zealand was how much of our land is uninhabited (about 78 per cent of our total area) compared to more densely populated countries that are similar in size," he said.

"Of course, that land comprises mainly of mountains, forests and farmland."

Douglas-Clifford said the inspiration for his maps often comes from interesting datasets.

He experiments with visualising them on a map to highlight different aspects of our geography and population.

The South Islander began making maps in his spare time last year when he was just 22.

Andrew Douglas-Clifford's
Andrew Douglas-Clifford's "Nobody Lives Here" map shows just how much of New Zealand is uninhabited. Image / Douglas-Clifford

He was doing a Masters in Geographic Information Science (MGIS) at the University of Canterbury "hence the love for cool maps".

He is now a freelance mapmaker, working under the name 'The Map Kiwi'.

After always having a fascination for metro network maps, he spent five weeks in several European cities in 2015, including time travelling on the London underground.


It inspired him to think how those metro networks might look in New Zealand.

Douglas-Clifford started with the South Island and when he posted it to social media, he was "blown away" by the interest in them.

A print company then approached him about making copies available for sale.

He then followed up with a North Island version and a nationwide map.