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Posted by on Oct 10, 2010 in Resources, Visualisation | 1 comment

Mercator Vs Peters Projection

Another “Rethinking the Power of Maps” inspired post. Many people view maps as realistic and impartial views of the world, but this is not correct. Maps are the product of a creative process that filters and warps reality for practical purposes, or to suit the views of the cartographer. One of the least convenient things about Planet Earth is the fact that it is spherical, (or oblate spheroid to be exact) making it hard to represent on a flat piece of paper. Map projections are used to get round this problem, but they do not create a perfect representation of the world.  The most widely used projection (in the Western World at least) is the Mercator Projection, but as the West Wing explains this has a number of flaws that are often overlooked…

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1 Comment

  1. Great clip it makes me want to see more West Wing, my interest in the Peters projection is primarily in terms of its accuracy as a model of reality, regarding landmass area maybe this works, it is certainly thought provoking. In terms of worldwide inequality I’m not sure there is a deliberate process of misrepresenting the size of countries as a way of asserting power.
    It could be argued that the ‘powers that be’ and the people they serve just don’t like change,especially if it meant a real challange to ones world view (and a downsize)
    Peters projection is really new so maybe in a few hundred years it will be considered to have stood the test of time and be a serious rival to the Mercator. I do think the social aspects of media and knowledge including the agendas that they serve are fascinating in terms of accepted representations of the world .
    I found the London population spatial exercise interesting but can it be slowed down for examination?

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