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The True Size Of Africa
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The True Size Of Africa - November 7, 2010, 01:17 PM

Just something interesting I came across today.

I always knew the maps we look at truly distort the size of a few countries/continents.

Kind of ridiculous that they don't have a disclaimer that images are not to scale and scaled for aesthetic purposes.




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November 7, 2010, 03:24 PM

wow, looking at this way Africa is huge.


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November 7, 2010, 03:30 PM

Holy crap


Then again... That's just me.

On the internet... Everyone is an expert.

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November 7, 2010, 03:43 PM

thats cool


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November 7, 2010, 05:01 PM

So what you are saying is that the continent of Africa is larger than several countries?


Uh.... ok.

Africa is almost 6 million sq. km larger than North America, but it is over 14 million sq km smaller than Asia. So if you wish to put something impressive into perspective, that would be more appropriate, IMO.
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November 7, 2010, 05:08 PM

One more reason why the Mercator projection is dumb. For some reason it's become the "standard" for generic maps, even though it's only utility is equal space and straight lines of latitude and longitude. One thing it also distorts is how big the south western pacific is...
I mean, you hear about Asian airlines always using huge airplanes...but it's not only because of numbers of people.

For example, Tokyo to Sydney is as far by air as DC to MOSCOW!


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November 7, 2010, 05:12 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heist View Post

Kind of ridiculous that they don't have a disclaimer that images are not to scale and scaled for aesthetic purposes.
It's a weakness of the different map projection styles... there's a mathematical basis to them, not just aesthetics.

Mercator projection - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Map projection - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

edit: the weakness comes from warping a spherical object onto a flat, rectangular map.

Last edited by Rail; November 7, 2010 at 05:17 PM..
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November 7, 2010, 05:13 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heist
I always knew the maps we look at truly distort the size of a few countries/continents.
All because of trying to project a sphere onto a plane. However, there many other map projections that don't distort as much, though one always have to make a compromise between:
How many seams/breaks
Straightness of latitude, longitude, or neither
Correct area comparisons
Correct distance comparisons, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heist
Kind of ridiculous that they don't have a disclaimer that images are not to scale and scaled for aesthetic purposes.
They do in any type of formal document by listing the projection. It's good to be able to look at a map and be able to tell what is distorted and what isn't, I learned it in geography class in HS...too bad our schools don't teach useful things any more...like critical thinking


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November 7, 2010, 07:17 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by birdman View Post
It's good to be able to look at a map and be able to tell what is distorted and what isn't, I learned it in geography class in HS...too bad our schools don't teach useful things any more...like critical thinking
^^^This one.



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November 7, 2010, 07:29 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quasimoto View Post
So what you are saying is that the continent of Africa is larger than several countries?


Uh.... ok.

Africa is almost 6 million sq. km larger than North America, but it is over 14 million sq km smaller than Asia. So if you wish to put something impressive into perspective, that would be more appropriate, IMO.
Where did you see me make reference to the size of Africa in relation to other countries or its area? I made no mention of this.

This post was about mapping distortions - not absolute square miles.

BTW - nice way to introduce yourself to the board.



“Any man who tries to be good all the time is bound to come to ruin among the great number who are not good. Hence a Prince who wants to keep his authority must learn how not to be good, and use that knowledge, or refrain from using it, as necessity requires”.

- Nicolo Machiavelli 1469-1527


Last edited by Heist; November 7, 2010 at 08:14 PM..
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November 7, 2010, 07:48 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by birdman View Post
They do in any type of formal document by listing the projection. It's good to be able to look at a map and be able to tell what is distorted and what isn't, I learned it in geography class in HS...too bad our schools don't teach useful things any more...like critical thinking
Uphill both ways and get off my lawn
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November 7, 2010, 08:45 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heist View Post
Where did you see me make reference to the size of Africa in relation to other countries or its area? I made no mention of this.

This post was about mapping distortions - not absolute square miles.

BTW - nice way to introduce yourself to the board.

I guess I should have said, "So what they are saying..."
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November 7, 2010, 09:11 PM

You guys are pretty passionate about your maps... haha...
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November 7, 2010, 09:19 PM

i have a map of MD on my wall...i get lost alot


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November 7, 2010, 09:33 PM

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You guys are pretty passionate about your maps... haha...
I'm with this guy...


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