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World Geography Education
Teaching Geography in the 21st century!
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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 6:17 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 12:31 PM
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 3:01 PM

This absolutely the best video clip for SS teachers EVER!

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The True Size Of Africa

The True Size Of Africa | World Geography Education | Scoop.it

This is another old classic image that I might have shared earlier but it merits repeating. As Salvatore Natoli (a leader in geography education) once said, "In our society we unconsciously equate size with importance and even power." This is one reason why many people have underestimated the true size of Africa relative to places that they view as more important or more powerful.


Tags: mapping, Africa, perspective, images. 


Via Seth Dixon
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Afrikasources's curator insight, January 15, 2014 10:10 AM

Just a reminder

Edelin Espino's curator insight, December 5, 2014 11:01 AM

It is incredible big, but unfortunately most of the north area is cover by the big Sahara and most of the are is typically unfertilized. 

Jason Schneider's curator insight, March 9, 4:29 PM

As we can see, there's a little overlapping here and some empty spots but it's pretty accurate. The United States and China are in the top 5 largest countries of the world list and they still fit in the 2nd largest continent of the world, Africa. I'd like to see the size comparison between Africa and Russia. I did some research on that and it turns out that Russia is a little over half the size of Africa, maybe the size of the combination of the United States and China.