Geography Education
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Suggested by Michelle Bader
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Why Map Projections Matter

This is a clip from the TV show West Wing (Season 2-Episode 16) where cartography plays a key role in the plot.  In this episode the fictitious (but still on Facebook) group named "the Organization of Cartographers for Social Justice" is campaigning to have the President officially endorse the Gall-Peters Projection in schools and denounce the Mercator projection.  The argument being that children will grow up thinking some places are not as important because they are minimized by the map projection.  While a bit comical, the cartographic debate is quite informative even if it was designed to appear as though the issue was trivial. 


Questions to Ponder:  Why do map projections matter?  Is one global map projection inherently better than the rest?  


Tags: Mapping, geospatial, video, visualization

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Lydia Blevins's comment, September 13, 2012 3:17 AM
I think it is very important that we start using more accurate maps. In school, the maps we use are so different from how the world actually is. I agree that children will grow up thinking some places are less important because they are minimized by the map projection.
Greg Atkinson's comment, October 10, 2012 9:31 AM
Great clip. I use it in my WRG class as a comedic introduction to the power of projection.
Mary Patrick Schoettinger's curator insight, December 18, 2012 12:01 PM

This absolutely the best video clip for SS teachers EVER!

Geography Education
Global news with a spatial perspective:  Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography teachers and students.
Curated by Seth Dixon