Mar. 21, 2017 World Maps Change

On Mar. 21, 2017 NPR’s Colin Dwyer reported “Boston Students Get A Glimpse Of A Whole New World, With Different Maps” about replacing Mercator projection maps with Gall-Peters maps (see above). To understand why this is a big deal, I recommend Jerry Brotton’s book “A History of the World in 12 Maps.” It is the story of cartographers struggling for centuries to create accurate two dimensional representations of a three dimensional world. The results were distorted and biased. By the twenty-first century it was possible using digital devices to view satellite images making all earlier map projections obsolete.

I liked flipping through history maps made by Denoyer Gippert and Kinder and Hilgemann etc. It was enlightening to see empires appear with big sweeping arrows wiping out older empires only to replaced by somebody else. I was never happy with maps that made Siberia and Antarctica look huge. I did like maps that were centered  over a continent. They did not show the whole planet but I never expected it to. It has taken hundreds of years to show that it takes more than one map to describe a planet.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.