From the stars of last week’s Throwback Thursday, to the geography of Earth, and the many maps that can explain it. Maps are fascinating. No, really, they are. And some maps are more fascinating than others. Join me as we go through several links exploring the maps of the world.
Above is an extraordinary map showing the true size of Africa. Normal world maps don’t do its size justice, but Africa is huge. Look at all the countries that can fit inside it! It’s madness on a grand scale.
The reason normal maps don’t show the true size is due to how map projections warp your understanding of geography. Most people are used to a compromise projection called the Mercator projection, and they have the tendency to sacrifice things like accurate geographic size and shape in favour of nice, straight lines. A humorous explanation of this can be found in the video below, taken from the excellent series The West Wing. It discusses the Gall-Peters projection, an alternative to the Mercator projection.
Next up, we have 40 maps that explain the world. Wait, make that 80, as it also includes 40 more maps that explain the world. The Washington Post outdid themselves with these 80 maps, and it’s fascinating to see the world in a different light. Another map to add to that list (bringing it up to 81) is over at NPR, where they map countries by population. It is incredibly to see just how many people live in India and China (see also map 24 in the first 40 maps that explain the world).
Over at Quartz, they have a different sort of map showing showing where everyone in the world is migrating. It seems that people emigrate from the UK mainly to Spain, Australia, and South Africa. Sticking with the UK, we have 12 data maps that sum up London (BBC).
After all this talk of maps, it would be great to actually see different parts of the world. Thankfully, you can lose yourself in MapCrunch, which provides you with random Google Street View images to play with. Just click on Go to be transported to another small part of our wonderful world. In one click, you might find yourself on a snowy road in Norway, only to be whisked away to quaint country road in the UK, then onwards along a desert highway in the United Arab Emirates.
Keep exploring. Onwards!