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Old December 5th, 2009, 07:58 PM   #1
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Real map of the world


The image of the world was formed by the Mercator projection. When people think about the physical size of countries and continents, they usually think this is the reality:

Click the image to open in full size.

But it isn't. The countries of the north are smaller than shown and the southern are bigger. How could that be?
Well, the Peters projection changes that small problem, and the result is surprising. The real Earth is something like this, where the relative sizes of countries and regions are preserved.

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

Notice than South America is now not smaller than North America! Notice the percentage of Eurasia that represents Africa. And notice how big is Australia in comparison to Western Europe. And notice that suddenly Greenland and Scandinavia shrunk!

Amazing, isn't?

Now, if we see that Map in the Austrialian style, the result is even more surprising. Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your planet.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old December 5th, 2009, 08:08 PM   #2

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Re: Real map of the world


Cool
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Old December 6th, 2009, 02:13 AM   #3

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Re: Real map of the world


Well so ?
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Old December 6th, 2009, 02:53 AM   #4

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Re: Real map of the world


I don't understand why the north countries seem smaller than they seem on the world map.

By contras they should seem larger if you take your perspective from the equador line.
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Old December 6th, 2009, 04:04 AM   #5
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Re: Real map of the world


The reason is that the Mercator projection (the ones of the common world maps) distort the sizes of the countries. That projection is great for navigation, but doesn't show the world like it is.

This is from wiki:

The Mercator projection is a cylindrical map projection presented by the
Flemish_people Flemish_people
geographer and cartographer
Gerardus_Mercator Gerardus_Mercator
, in 1569. It became the standard map projection for nautical purposes because of its ability to represent lines of constant course, known as
Rhumb_line Rhumb_line
or
Rhumb_line Rhumb_line
, as straight segments. While the linear scale is constant in all directions around any point, thus preserving the angles and the shapes of small objects (which makes the projection
Conformal_projection Conformal_projection
), the Mercator projection distorts the size and shape of large objects, as the scale increases from the Equator to the poles, where it becomes infinite.

Mercator_projection Mercator_projection
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Old December 6th, 2009, 04:20 AM   #6

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Re: Real map of the world


In short, this happens because of the "straightening" effect of a nearly-spherical body onto a cylindrical one. In ANY map the of that nature the size and shape will not match the "real" ones, because we need to distort them.

The best way to look for sizes and shapes is on a globe. And even then there is a bit of a distortion, because the globe is made spherical, and the Earth is not quite.
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Old December 6th, 2009, 04:59 AM   #7

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Re: Real map of the world


A good reason to always have a globe handy as it avoids such distortions. I have one in my office at home and at work. How many people have globes handy? I guess the modern globe is really now google earth!

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old December 6th, 2009, 05:12 AM   #8

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Re: Real map of the world


"Notice than South America is now not smaller than North America!"

But North America is bigger than South America.
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Old December 6th, 2009, 05:15 AM   #9
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Re: Real map of the world


Look at the Peters projection map.
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Old December 6th, 2009, 05:18 AM   #10

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Re: Real map of the world


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cicero View Post
A good reason to always have a globe handy as it avoids such distortions. I have one in my office at home and at work. How many people have globes handy? I guess the modern globe is really now google earth!

Click the image to open in full size.
I have one both at school and at home. I also use an elliptical map in class, not a cillidrical one.
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