View Full Version : Cartography lesson on TV

04-06-2013, 11:03 AM
This video clip has an interesting lesson on cartography from a TV show. I think it was West Wing.

We Have Been Misled By An Erroneous Map Of The World For 500 Years (http://www.upworthy.com/we-have-been-mislead-by-an-erroneous-map-of-the-world-for-500-years?g=2&c=ufb1)

04-06-2013, 12:55 PM
Are you serious? I've got to look this up as I never realized this. I know maps just as history are molded by the victorious and whatnot but you would think by now we'd at least have a correct visualization of the planet.

04-06-2013, 01:42 PM
"You can't do that... It's freaking me out!" (South on top)

We have plenty of accurate representations - most classrooms that have a Mercator wall map probably also have a globe, and you can't get much more accurate than that. Aside from the tongue in cheek cartographers for social equality, Mercator *is* a mediocre reference map. Personally I don't much like Peters as a wall map either - I care about shape too. One of the interrupted projections where shape is compromised a little, size a little, direction a little, and distance a little probably works better.

Unless you want to just unashamedly use the King Of Siam projection, where the place you live is hugely big and important and everything else is midgetized ;-)...

04-06-2013, 05:13 PM
This Gall-Peters crap is worse than a chain letter; it just keeps coming back and will not DIE. It's a horrible projection. If you need area equivalence, there are far better equivalent projections (Mollwiede, Hammer). If you don't need strict equivalence and just want a reference map than balances out distortion, there are hybrid projections well suited to that (Robinson, Winkel Tripel). Modern wall maps used in classrooms are generally based on hybrid projections, not Mercator. National Geographic uses Winkel Tripel for instance.

Peters hand his followers place far too much emphasis on area compared to other properties, they use a straw man argument by always comparing to Mercator maps rather than actual modern ones, and even allowing all that, the solution they propose is a BAD solution. Gall-Peters distorts shapes so badly that it's pretty much unreadable near the poles.