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Country size. Interesting

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  • Country size. Interesting

    That flat world map we've all see since distorts the size of countries and makes
    some continents look larger and some smaller. This is because the equator is the largest
    diameter and things are stretched to flatten it so northern and southern countries look larger then they actually are.


  • #2
    I remember taking a geography course in high school back in the 60s and had all the various types of maps explained in terms of their distortions.

    The bit about one type of map being a big lie is just BS. The statement that there is no way to accurately portray a globe on a flat map is on the right track, but still, properly made maps are all accurate according to the projection convention chosen.

    Each 2D map projection method preserves some features with visual accuracy at the expense of other features that get stretched/shrunk/distorted. An analogy is focusing your eye - you pick what to focus on and everything else is distorted (fuzzy) to some extent. It just takes multiple maps to convey the various points of view to get a well-rounded (ha) idea of things.

    Classrooms used to have globes- maybe they still do - I'll have to ask my school teacher friends.

    I love maps - especially the old medieval ones with all the little drawings and all the errors and guesswork and myths.

    I've seen this whole thing worked up as if there's some conspiracy to deceive people via maps. I think there's a conspiracy to spread stupid conspiracy ideas, myself.

    nat whilk ii


    • #3
      LOL... WTF? The breathless video-maker thinks this is NEWS?

      What little kid didn't study map projections in 4th grade?

      Lie. Sure, whatever. What a dolt. It's like he just discovered the planet is (vaguely) round.

      Gawsh people sure are stoooopid nowadays.


      music and social links | recent listening


      • #4
        The video presents all this in a sensationalist way as if it were some sort of conspiracy... Kind of a 'Fox News' viewpoint.
        All one has to do is look at a globe. Duh.


        • #5
          The virtue of the Mercator projection is that a straight line has a constant compass bearing. For that reason, it's popular for navigation charts: following a particular compass bearing produces a straight line on the map. Note that this is NOT a straight (more accurately, great circle) course. Imagine circling the North Pole, 10 feet away. You go in a 10-foot radius circle, with a constant bearing (East or West) the entire time, but clearly not a straight path. But it makes dead-reckoning navigation far easier than any other type of chart, anywhere but near the poles (where dead-reckoning using a compass isn't particularly useful.)

          It's pretty bad for visualizing the world, because it tries to turn a sphere into a cylinder.

          The term "projection" is interesting too. It's literally accurate for some projections: you could create a Mercator projection by taking a transparent globe, putting a light in the center, putting all that inside a translucent cylinder, and drawing what gets projected onto the cylinder. Different projections use differently-shaped surfaces to draw on. (Of course, that's not how it's done, especially these days, but it's equivalent.) One of the more popular projections of yesteryear is useful when covering only one hemisphere and using a cone rather than a cylinder. Another common projection is planar: imagine a sheet of translucent glass, touching the clear globe at the center of whatever place you wanted to map, and tracing it. The farther from the center, the more distortion: areas get bigger, straight lines curve, etc.


          • #6
            And of course, no discussion of this topic is complete without mentioning xkcd: