Friday, 31 May 2019

National Perspectives and Maps

I am sure that all of us are well aware of the skewing required on the Mercator map of the world in order to show a three dimensional globe in two dimensions. However, it was only recently that I had a think about quite what the Mercator map does to our perspective of what has - or what we give - prominence, and what doesn't.

America looks quite important. But when you look at the world resized to actual size (see purple overlay in the image (Routley, 9 November 2018), we can see that the US is fairly similar in size to Brazil, Australia and China. The US is probably closest in size to China, map-wise. Russia is the largest nation. Canada can be clearly seen to be smaller than the US. Greenland fades into insignificance.

The other point of interest is where we split the map. It is most often split in the Atlantic, however, perhaps we might want to split it in the Pacific. It is a much cosier map, in my view, being from the Antipodes.

All this forgets about the AuthaGraph map, however, from Japanese architect, Hajime Narukawa, which took the globe, folded it is made by converting the globe to 96 triangles, moving the triangles to a tetrahedron while maintaining areas proportions and unfolding it to be a rectangle. This one is very interesting (here; AuthaGraph, n.d.). 


Sam

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