Tuesday, May 6

equal longitude and latitude does matter

The first map is the traditional style found in every contemporary atlas. It enhances the northern hemisphere by cheating the latitudes running through the US, Europe and Russian areas by increasing "the view" in simply changing the scale ratio.

The second map is closer to what the world really is. The latitudes are put down in constant increments. Therefore South America and Africa show their real size in comparison to their "Eurocentric" neighbors.

Just for an example, watch the transition of the Scandinavian countries from one map to the other. Fairly dramatic space change there.

I post this because I am bothered that students and other people still live with that image of a "warped" world imagery. An image that has nothing to do with physical reality.
I might also be inclined to say - and you can call me a racist if you wish, that nothing much of importance originated culturally, spiritually and constructively from the southern hemisphere in the last millennium. Maybe that is why the maps got "warped". Either way, down south they would adopt "western-culture" and made it suit their own, or they live in famine, desperation, genocide, religious extremisms or dictatorships. No, this was not a rant about how grand "western culture" works today. It doesn't have a chance for the future - don't copy the present decaying stream. That wasn't my point.
This post was more about the actual facts of graphical size, not the supposed "qualities" of different nations and regions in the world. That latter thing I might ponder upon an other time ...
In the mean time, create your very own image of what is what. But keep in mind, the world below the equator is larger than you think, that in fact was all I tried to say!


susan said...

and good luck to Evo Morales in his current battle with the forces of the ultra rich united under guess who?

Zee said...

ok Susan, I read your comment several times. Dementia is hitting hard these days - so I was never sure I found out the true meaning of what you said. Can you help me along?

Ingrid said...

I never watched the West Wing but when I happened to stumble upon an episode, 'they' had this cartography organization visiting them saying that, why should North be 'up' and considered the reference point when in fact it should be the other way around.. I never really looked into it but what did stick in my brain was the distortion you talk about. Great post Zee! I've seen the actual maps and when you look at it, you think WOW..Africa is immense! It psychologically gives you a totally different perspective..

Zee said...

Yes Ingrid, the world is such, and not always the way we were trained to see it.