All World Maps Are Wrong

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By Prisha Goyal
According to the National Ocean Service, the Earth is an irregularly shaped ellipsoid. Butthe world maps you see in classrooms or books are flat. And that’s where the problembegins. You can’t flatten something that’s round without distorting the image in someway.
The most famous map projection is the Mercator Projection, made by GerardusMercator in 1569. It was mainly created for nautical navigation, and it was abreakthrough in that field because a straight line on the map corresponded to a
constant compass direction, which made navigation easier for sailors. But though itwas great for navigation, it wasn’t so great at representing the actual size of countriescloser to the poles. Greenland looks bigger than Africa in the projection, but in fact,Greenland is fourteen times smaller. Another map projection is the Gall-Petersprojection, which shows the true proportion of countries to one another, but thecontinents are pretty…stretched. The most accurate map projection is the AuthaGraphWorld Map, designed by Hajime Narukawa in 1999, since all the continents and oceansare quite proportional. But it’s not used that widely because the Mercator Projection iseasier to read and understand.
There have been many other attempts at drawing an accurate flat projection, such asthe Winkel tripel projection created by Oswald Winkel in 1921, the Dymaxion mapcreated by Buckminster Fuller in 1943, the Aitoff projection proposed by David A. Aitoffin 1889, and dozens more. We can’t represent Earth on a flat surface perfectly, but wecan see how every map has different elements that help us understand our world in abetter way.