OMG! Did You Know That Maps Have Been Lying To You Your Entire Life?

Maps are big LIARS!

OMG! Did You Know That Maps Have Been Lying To You Your Entire Life?

I’m pretty sure we all thought that maps are given a legit, honest reflection of the reality in which we all exist. But I’m sorry to break this up with you guys because it turns out that the classic map we all grew up with is mostly a complete LIE. And believe or not, not all of them (maps) tell the same lie.

OMG! Did You Know That Maps Have Been Lying To You Your Entire Life?

Most people don’t even know that there are more than one type of map, and no, I don’t mean the difference between Google maps and Bing maps.

The most common map found today is the Mercator map, that keeps the lines of longitude and latitude nice and even. However, the drawback of the Mercator map is that it distorts the size of objects the further away from the equator that they get. This is because of the problem of taking a 3D globe and flattening it out.

OMG! Did You Know That Maps Have Been Lying To You Your Entire Life?

That’s where the Goode homolosine projection comes in (which is pictured below). This map is basically the result of peeling the cover of a globe off and flattening it out. The land masses are more accurate as far as size, but as you can see the lines of latitude and longitude get distorted towards the edges.

OMG! Did You Know That Maps Have Been Lying To You Your Entire Life?

The issue is due to projection, which in map-making results from trying to turn a spherical globe into a flat plane and an example of this is the Mercator.

In truth, Africa is 14 times larger than Greenland, Canada is only 1.2 times the size of the United States, and Antarctica is definitely not the colossal continent it is portrayed to be. 

However, don’t get the idea that the Mercator is a bad map, just yet. As far as navigation goes, the Mercator map is the standard because it retain true point of longitude and latitude. Even if the continents are of the wrong size.

 

For some fun facts about the Mercator Map, check out the BuzzFeedBlue video:

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