Maps and mapping

9 07 2008

Maps and mapping is big in certain circles. And many flats. But then it wouldn’t be Geek if there weren’t heated and impassioned arguments about things that are relatively trivial to most of the rest of the world.

The fundamental problem is how you put the surface of a sphere (or pretty much a sphere) onto a flat area. Try spreading an orange peel out flat on your kitchen counter; you can’t do it without the orange peel splitting in weird places and leaving all these gaping holes.

Likewise with a map. And if a country should be on both sides of one of the splits, we generally fill in the split area with the country and it winds up looking bigger. Which is why Russia is so huge, when in reality is isn’t nearly that size.

Enter the arguments: how best display the world on a flat map?

Part of the answer is: It depends.

To get a good view of how the various countries and continents looks relative to each other size wise, check out the Hobo-Dyer Equal Area projection.

And there is more in an article about the dynamic borders of England. At least according to the map makers.

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2 responses

14 07 2008
Bob Abramms

Your citation of the HOBO-DYER Projection is not up-to-date. Please revise the link to
http://www.odtmaps.com/detail.asp?product_id=HDP-11×17
Thanks

14 07 2008
wonderingpondering

Thanks for the update and correction! The change has been made to the blog post.

I have the map and find it useful when talking with students about the sizes of various countries, from both the physical (land area) and population perspectives.

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