All maps are not created equal

Wars of nations are fought to change maps. But wars of poverty are fought to map change.
– Muhammad Ali


EarthBrowser

The True Size of Africa

The real map of the world (Peters Projection)

Wikipedia – The Gall–Peters projection, named after James Gall and Arno Peters,…achieved considerable notoriety in the late 20th century as the centerpiece of a controversy surrounding the political implications of map design.… The American Cartographic Association (now Cartography and Geographic Information Society)… produce[d] a series of booklets (including Which Map Is Best) designed to educate the public about map projections and distortion in maps. In 1989 and 1990, after some internal debate, seven North American geographic organizations adopted the following resolution, which rejected all rectangular world maps, a category that includes both the Mercator and the Gall-Peters projections:

WHEREAS, the earth is round with a coordinate system composed entirely of circles, and

WHEREAS, flat world maps are more useful than globe maps, but flattening the globe surface necessarily greatly changes the appearance of Earth’s features and coordinate systems, and

WHEREAS, world maps have a powerful and lasting effect on people’s impressions of the shapes and sizes of lands and seas, their arrangement, and the nature of the coordinate system, and

WHEREAS, frequently seeing a greatly distorted map tends to make it “look right,”

THEREFORE, we strongly urge book and map publishers, the media and government agencies to cease using rectangular world maps for general purposes or artistic displays. Such maps promote serious, erroneous conceptions by severely distorting large sections of the world, by showing the round Earth as having straight edges and sharp corners, by representing most distances and direct routes incorrectly, and by portraying the circular coordinate system as a squared grid. The most widely displayed rectangular world map is the Mercator (in fact a navigational diagram devised for nautical charts), but other rectangular world maps proposed as replacements for the Mercator also display a greatly distorted image of the spherical Earth.

Gall-Peters projection

Why are we changing maps? (from The West Wing)

Arno Peters: Radical Map, Remarkable Man TRAILER


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