Map Distortion- How much does it matter?

by Developed Africa 10. April 2014 09:00

Discussions about the accuracy of the Mercaror map, which is used the world over, are becomingly increasingly popular.

Now, we are obviously aware that there is no way to perfectly depict the proportions of the globe on a flat diagram, but the issue that is being raised more and more frequently is that the mercaror representation so poorly depicts Africa that we need to come up with a better one. 

Looking at a map, through a layman's eye, you would assume that North America and Africa are fairly similar in size, and that there was no way that North America could fit inside Africa with room for more. But it would appear that it is in fact possible, and that we have been fooled by the scaling of the map since 1516. Take a look back at Developed Africa's post about the true size of Africa. Below is the Gall-Peters equal projection map, telling a different story:

Gall-Peters equal projection map

There are some that might argue that the distorted representation of Africa may have a subconscious affect on people, if it looked bigger, perhaps they would think of it with higher significance. That is not what we are arguing, but it is clear that:

maps communicate much more than mere information and all of them necessarily contain within them the world views of their makers."

So is it time for a change?


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