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The Kid Should See This

Why all world maps are wrong

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How do you make something round into something flat without distorting it? Something round, like a globe or a planet, is three dimensional. Something flat, like a paper map hanging on the wall, is two dimensional. If you try to peel the outside of the globe off like an orange peel, it would be a challenge to get that orange peel to lay flat like a paper map.

This is the problem with every map you’ve ever seen, including Google Maps: They’re all distorted in an attempt to flatten something spherical. Example: The Mercator Projection, which shows Greenland as larger than all of Africa and Alaska as larger than Mexico, just to name two of many misrepresentations. Vox’s Johnny Harris explains.

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Next: Globe Making (1955).

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