Geography Education
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Geography Education
Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
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Mercator Puzzle Redux

Mercator Puzzle Redux | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Play this interactive game--move the 15 red countries to their appropriate locations to turn the countries green.  If you give up, you can double click on a red country to locate it (but it will turn blue)." 

Seth Dixon's insight:

The old link to this map quiz no longer works but here is a new version.  This online game where you return the “misplaced” country on the map is more than just and exercise in locating places (there are many online map quizzes for that sort of activity).  What makes this one unique is that as you move the country further north or south the country expands or contracts according to how that country would be projected if that were its actual location on a Mercator map.  This is a great way to introduce the importance of map projections.

 

Tags: map projections, mapping, cartography.

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allbuild.construction's comment, February 14, 2018 12:33 AM
good
Ivan Ius's curator insight, February 16, 2018 9:22 AM
Geographic Thinking Concepts: Spatial Significance; Patterns and Trends
Matt Manish's curator insight, February 16, 2018 7:18 PM
This is an interesting quiz to test your world geography skills. It gives you the shape of a country in red and you have to place the shape on the correct country. If you can't find the correct country, just double tap the shape and it will show you which country it belongs to. This was definitely a challenge for me since I only got two of the countries correct. I found particular difficulty with locating the smaller countries with less features that stand out. Although I only got two answers right, I did enjoy this map quiz because it helped me to realize that I should brush up on my world geography skills more to help me stay informed with what's going on in the world.
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Boston schools ditch conventional world maps in favor of this one

Boston schools ditch conventional world maps in favor of this one | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Social studies classrooms throughout the Boston public school system are getting an upgrade some 448 years in the making.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Personally, I'm not a fan of this decision, but it's as if they watched the classic West Wing clip and decided to roll with it. I think that the Peters projection map is better than the Mercator for most educational applications, but it isn't the "right, best, or true" map projection.  Many viral videos comparing the two love to exaggerate and say things like "The maps you use are lying to you" or "the world is nothing like you've ever seen."  Yes, Mercator maps distorts relative size, but it isn't a "wrong" map anymore than the Peters projection.  All maps have distortion and map readers need to under that all maps are a mathematical representation of the Earth.  

 

Tags: mapping, visualization, map projections, cartography, perspectiveeducation, geography, geography educationBoston.

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Why Mercator for the Web? Isn’t the Mercator bad?

Why Mercator for the Web? Isn’t the Mercator bad? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"As you may know, Google Maps uses the Mercator projection. So do other Web mapping services, such as Bing Maps and MapQuest. Over the years I’ve encountered antipathy toward the use of the Web Mercator from map projection people. I know of two distinct schools of opposition. One school, consisting of cartographic folks and map aficionados, thinks the Mercator projection is 'bad': The projection misrepresents relative sizes across the globe and cannot even show the poles, they are so inflated. The other school, consisting of geodesy folks, thinks mapping services have corrupted the Mercator projection, whether by using the wrong formulæ for it or by using the wrong coordinate system for it."

Seth Dixon's insight:

In this article you will find a thoughtful discussion of the reasons why the Mercator projection is disliked by many, but still so prevalent.  In ArcGIS online, you can Search For Groups and then enter Projected Basemaps to see many map projections on that platform. For more resources on understanding map projections, click here


Tags: mapping, visualization, map projections, cartography, perspective, unit 1 Geoprinciples.

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Map Projection Transitions

Map Projection Transitions | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"In some ways, all 2D maps of Earth are interrupted at some point, even if it’s just along the antimeridian at 180°. Interruptions are often in areas of less interest e.g. oceans for a land-focused map."

Seth Dixon's insight:

No screenshot could do justice to this animation.  It transforms a map of the world from one map projection to another, and in the 5 second interval it 'spins the globe' to give you a sense of the the spatial distortions inherent in all projections.  This is but one of the many visualizations from Jason Davies mapping project.   


Tags: mapping, visualization, map projections, cartography, perspective, unit 1 Geoprinciples.

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Luis Cesar Nunes's curator insight, September 3, 2015 10:33 AM

map projections

Alex Smiga's curator insight, September 7, 2015 4:23 PM
Seth Dixon's insight:

No screenshot could do justice to this animation.  It transforms a map of the world from one map projection to another, and in the 5 second interval it 'spins the globe' to give you a sense of the the spatial distortions inherent in all projections.  This is but one of the many visualizations fromJason Davies mapping project.   

Vincent Lahondère's curator insight, January 4, 2018 5:42 PM

Un site qui permet de visualiser les principales projections cartographiques

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Map Projections

This video describes what map projections are, and how the Earth can be represented using map projections within a GIS.


Tags: Mapping, video, map projections, cartography.

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Rich Schultz's curator insight, May 21, 2015 5:35 PM

Yep - its from ESRI

Campbell Ingraham's curator insight, May 25, 2015 3:14 PM

This video relates to Use of geospatial technologies, such as GIS, remote sensing, global positioning systems (GPS), and online maps. It tells about how the world is a 3D shape, but we view it as 2D, which leads to distortions in world size. The use of GIS allows for the world to be projected onto any shape such as a cone, rectangle, prism, or pyramid. And this leads to the different map projections. 

MsPerry's curator insight, May 27, 2015 9:31 AM

Ch 1 Map Projections

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Map Projections

Map Projections | Geography Education | Scoop.it

A map projection is used to portray all or part of the round Earth on a flat surface. This cannot be done without some distortion.  Every projection has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. There is no "best" projection.  The mapmaker must select the one best suited to the needs, reducing distortion of the most important features.  Mapmakers and mathematicians have devised almost limitless ways to project the image of the globe onto paper. Scientists at the U. S. Geological Survey have designed projections for their specific needs—such as the Space Oblique Mercator, which allows mapping from satellites with little or no distortion.  This document gives the key properties, characteristics, and preferred uses of many historically important projections and of those frequently used by mapmakers today.

Seth Dixon's insight:

This article chronicles 18 map projections, how they are mathematically rendered with their own unique set of advantages and disadvantages. 


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


Tags: Mapping, visualization, map projections, cartography, perspective.

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Carlee Allen's curator insight, March 26, 2015 6:58 PM

This article explains and talks about 18 specific map projections. It gives a lot of detail about all of them, and describes the disadvantages and uses for all of them.

 

I thought that this was interesting because I learned more about map projections, and actually how people use them.

Christopher L. Story's curator insight, March 27, 2015 9:59 AM

Some review help

Leah Hood's curator insight, August 22, 2017 5:02 PM

This article chronicles 18 map projections, how they are mathematically rendered with their own unique set of advantages and disadvantages. 


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


Tags: Mapping, visualization, map projections, cartography, perspective.

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What Does Earth Look Like?

Seth Dixon's insight:

This video covers various topics important to mapping and satellite imagery (and a lesson from an APHG teacher on how to use this video with other resources).  There is so much more to the world and space than what we can see see.  Chromoscope, referenced in the video, simulates other forms of energy on the electromagnetic spectrum besides just visible light.  This type of information is at the core of the science behind all of our satellite imagery.  This video also covers many map projection issues and highlights online resources to understand map distortion including:


Tags: mapping, perspective, images, remote sensing, geospatial, unit 1 Geoprinciples.

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Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, August 27, 2014 12:37 PM

Unit 1

MsPerry's curator insight, September 1, 2014 9:51 AM

APHG-Unit 1

Alex Smiga's curator insight, September 7, 2015 4:29 PM
Seth Dixon's insight:

This video covers various topics important to mapping and satellite imagery (and alesson from an APHG teacher on how to use this video with other resources).  There is so much more to the world and space than what we can see see.  Chromoscope, referenced in the video, simulates other forms of energy on the electromagnetic spectrum besides just visible light.  This type of information is at the core of the science behind all of our satellite imagery.  This video also covers many map projection issues and highlights online resources to understand map distortion including:

Google’s Mercator Map PuzzleJason Davies’ interactive map projection websiteInteractive Gnomonic Projectionand the military's live rendering of what the Earth looks like right now.  
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3D relationships on 2D surfaces

3D relationships on 2D surfaces | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

We take for granted that a map is an accurate representation of the Earth, but we cannot forget that every map at a global scale has some distortions. 


Tags: map projections.

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espaciosalternativos's comment, September 11, 2013 1:26 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goode_homolosine_projection
espaciosalternativos's comment, September 11, 2013 1:27 PM
http://cargocollective.com/alvinaronson/Orange-Peel-Map
Makenna Jordan's curator insight, September 13, 2013 4:07 AM

I think the idea of drawing a map on an orange is so clever because it really shows us that it's basuically impossible to take an image from a round spherical shape and transform it into the same exact thing on a 2D surface 

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38 Maps You Never Knew You Needed

38 Maps You Never Knew You Needed | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Some prime examples of fascinating maps." 

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a very entertaining collection of maps.  Shown above is a map that displays what is on the other side of the Globe (see, it's the Argentinians and Chileans that would "dig a hole to China").  Superimposed on every location is its antipod/antipode (location directly opposite on the other side of the Earth).  The journal of radical leftist geography is entitled Antipode, implying that they see the world through a different perspective and plays off of this concept. 

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Jordan Macpherson's comment, November 4, 2013 11:50 PM
CRAZY!
Lona Pradeep Parad's curator insight, May 27, 2014 7:46 PM

This shows 38 maps of the world in completely different formats with different map projections and colorings. 

Jake Red Dorman's curator insight, November 13, 2014 11:43 AM

Map number 7 shows what New Yorkers complain about the most in their beloved city. The complaints are split into noise, graffiti and litter. It is no surprise that most New Yorkers complain about noise in Manhattan, well because it is one of the largest cities in the world, of course there is going to be noise. And then looking on the outskirts of the main city in Manhattan there are mostly complaints about litter. The map is mostly blue in most areas. As for graffiti there are a couple pockets spread out which is where I’m assuming most gang activity takes place. Queens, the Bronx, and Brooklyn is where most of the graffiti is located according to this map. I liked this ma because it shows what you’re going to see or hear in certain places in the City area.    

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xkcd: Map Projections

xkcd: Map Projections | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Geo-geek humor -- A cartoon strip on the projector in the 3 minutes before class can be a good thing.  I'm a Robinson. 

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Jesse Gauthier's comment, September 10, 2012 11:06 AM
I feel the Robinson map is a closest representation of the world that is translated onto a 2-D map. All of the land masses and oceans look to be accurate without flattening the map completely and still having a curvature to it; which is more of a representation of the globe.
Emily Bian's curator insight, September 28, 2014 8:36 PM

This cartoon strip shows the different types of map projections, and has a caption of what your personality is like if you like the map projection.

I thought this was really funny, especially the caption for the Peters Projection. I'm a Robinson for sure, because I just like the way it looks. I think all the different types of maps are good and useful in their own way, even the Peters... I guess...

We also learned all the different types of map projections in class, which helped me recognize these maps. This is also a humorous way for people who don't know the different map projections to learn it while still having a fun and good time. Maps are an important element in APHUG, because everyone should know how to read maps. It's part of Unit 1, because it shows the landmasses, and some maps can show different perspectives on things.

This quirky and humorous map will help the students in next year's APHUG class the different map projections, while having fun and finding out their personality that goes along with the different maps.

1) key geographical skills

Elle Reagan's curator insight, September 28, 2014 11:37 PM

This is a good overview of some different types of map projections and it has some humor too! I like how all the different types of map are all in one place. Also, each picture  is fairly detailed so that I can really see how one map is different from the next. I'm hoping this will be a good study tool in studying for the AP exam if there are any questions about different types of map projections.

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Choosing a Map Projection

"Cartographers at National Geographic discuss how they select an appropriate map projection for the September 2012 magazine map supplement. --World maps usually center on the land, with the Pacific Ocean divided as bookends. To show each ocean as a whole with the least distortion for our 'Beneath the Oceans' supplement map, we used a map projection called an interrupted Mollweide centered on the Pacific."

Seth Dixon's insight:

There is no one perfect map projection that fits all circumstances and situations. Think of a situation in which this map projection would be an ideal way to represent the Earth and in another situation that same projection would give you an incredibly limited perspective.  This video provides good insight into how to choose a map projection for a cartographic project. Here is National Geographic's lesson using this video.

 

Tags: cartography, K12, geospatial, NationalGeographic, water

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Interactive Gnomonic Map

Interactive Gnomonic Map | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

As stated on USGS map projections page: "[Gnomonic maps are] used by some navigators to find the shortest path between two points.  Any straight line drawn on the map is on a great circle, but directions are true only from center point of projection."  This interactive is a very fun way  to visualize this and to understand distortion.

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The true size of ...

The true size of ... | Geography Education | Scoop.it
This site is used to highlight the distortion issues caused by the Mercator map projection. It can be used to show the true size of countries

How it Works

1. Enter a country or state name

2. Hover over selection for size information

3. Click on selection to drag

4. Right-click on selection to delete


Tags: mapping, visualization, map projections, cartography, perspective.

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Fruit and Map Projections

Fruit and Map Projections | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

Bare with me here; this culinary hack shows several images that are helpful for explaining how map projections represent parts of the Earth (or the orange in this example).  The Polar regions are often displayed in azimuthal projections which are most accurate near one specified point.  Slicing the orange at the top and bottom is akin to creating polar azimuthal projections.  Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) is a system that divides Earth into 60 "slices" with each wedge representing 6 degrees of longitude.  Each wedge has a Meractor projection map with perfect representation along a central line of longitude.  If we imagine the peel adjacent to one wedge has been flattened out, that is good way to visualize UTM maps.  


Tagsmappingmap projections, cartography, perspective, map.

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Augustin Zusanné's curator insight, June 17, 2015 11:35 AM

Great artistic tips !

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Road from Europe to U.S.? Russia proposes superhighway

Road from Europe to U.S.? Russia proposes superhighway | Geography Education | Scoop.it
London to New York City by car? It could happen if the head of Russian Railways has his way.
Seth Dixon's insight:

As Asya Pereltsvaig, the author of Languages of the World, wrote: "That's what happens when Russia's main problems, fools and roads (дураки и дороги), are combined..."  It's the opposite idea of the summer road trip that is designed to hit all the major tourist sites.

 

Questions to Ponder: What are the pros and cons of this project?  What would it take to actually happen?  This map is a Mercator Projection--would a different map change your perspective on the feasibility of the project? 


TagsRussia, map projections, transportation, tourism.

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Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, March 15, 2018 3:42 PM
(Russia) In a world of globalization, this considered highway could make the world a little smaller. The Trans-Eurasian Belt Development project intends to create a road alongside the Trans-Siberian Railway, crossing all of Russia to link with roads spanning throughout Europe and connecting to North America through Alaska. The head of Russian Railways did not explain how the road would cross the Bering Strait. There are 55 miles between Russia and Alaska at the narrowest point, and one consecutive bridge would still be half the length of the longest bridge in the world. It is definitely doable. Linking to roads in Alaska and across the continent, a trip from London to New York could be about 12,910 miles, all by car. The road network would apparently pay for itself with weighty economic promise, however Russian Railways provided no information on this financial promise.

The highway would connect most of the world, but tense relations between Russia and the US and Europe could hinder progress. Additionally, the road would cost trillions of dollars, take a very long time, and require frequent maintenance, especially across seldom traveled regions in Siberia.
brielle blais's curator insight, March 29, 2018 5:20 PM
This showcases how the geography of the world can be linked together to grow the economic stability of each country through easier access to products and goods. By creating the trans-siberean highway, Russia would be connected to the United States by their western coast. This allows access for places once very difficult to travel too. 
Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, November 1, 2018 11:05 AM
The Russian Railway president has proposed a plan for a Europe to U.S. superhighway. The Trans'Eurasian Belt Development would lead London to Moscow through Siberia, over the Bering Strait to Alaska, through Canada ending in New York. This would take major coordination between all the different countries. You must think about the time, money and effort this would take. From  Eastern Russia to Alaska, how would drivers get over the gap? Who would tear through the forests and stretches of land needed to create this? 
 
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Why Map Projections Matter

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a clip from the TV show West Wing (Season 2-Episode 16) is a classic--how often does cartography plays a key role in the plot of a TV show?  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, video, visualization, map projections, cartography, perspective.

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Rich Schultz's curator insight, February 11, 2015 11:27 AM

Would an inverted Peters projection "freak you out"?

Tiani Page's curator insight, April 27, 2015 11:51 PM

As part of geography education we are required to teach students about different map projections and the rationale for these. This little video puts it quite well. 

Adelaide Parkin's comment, September 7, 2016 8:52 PM
This is an engaging and funny clip! It is a great resource that could be used in a lessons introduction! for myself i love finding funny little clips that relate to a topic to play at the start of a lesson and then explain to the students what the topic is! Great resource i will be saving for later
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Great Circle Mapper

Great Circle Mapper | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The Great Circle Mapper displays maps and computes distances along a geodesic path. It includes an extensive, searchable database of airports and other locations."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The shortest distance between two points is not a straight line…well, that depends on your map projection.  A flat map always distorts something when representing our three-dimensional Earth—whether it is distance, direction, shape or area—something gets distorted on our maps.  A great circle is the shortest distance between two points on the surface of a sphere, so that’s going to be the quickest travel route between points (which is why so many airline routes seem to arc).  This website Great Circle Mapper generates great circles that show the shortest distance between two points on many map projects will be an arc.  Why does this particular route arc ‘bend’ north for a while and then south?  Get out a globe for added perspective.   

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Caterin Victor's curator insight, January 15, 2014 7:45 AM

 The  distance,  depends :   by  map  or  by  airplane !!

matthias brendler's curator insight, January 16, 2014 10:34 AM

Maps Monster am I!

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, January 28, 2014 12:59 PM

Because this route from JFK Airport to SYD AUS Airport is not a straight route there are many factors that need to be taken in account because of the overwhelming idea of trade winds and how that affects flight plans and routing for different airways/airlanes.  The plane has to fight against the trafe winds in order to create a specific ETA for the passenger and the flight crue among the plane. This is all dependent upon the trade winds (prevailing and other kinds) transmitting against the plane.

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A world of projections

Welcome, Metafilter visitors! How can you map a sphere unto the plane? well you can't if you want to keep size, shape and proportions. Here are the alternatives... Learn more about the different projections.
Seth Dixon's insight:

We are accustomed to spatial distortion in maps; when we see that same distortion on a picture, it gives us an alternative perspective on the level of spatial distortion that we see on maps.  The Azimuthal projections (circular) are my favorite for this photographic project.   


Tagsmapping, cartography, perspective, map.

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Ann-Laure Liéval's curator insight, March 24, 2013 7:55 AM

Des cartes pour comprendre le monde...une initiative photographique pour comprendre les projections. 

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Mercator’s 500th birthday: ArcGIS Resource Center

Mercator’s 500th birthday: ArcGIS Resource Center | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

While the web mapping world still relies too much on the Mercator projection for my preference, it is a testament to the enduring impact that his ideas have had in literally shaping our World.  When discussing map projections, this article has some valuable materials.

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Lisa Fonseca's comment, September 10, 2012 11:37 AM
This projection allows us to view maps at a more accurate scale. Around the world cartographers, pilots, navigators, map readers, and web mappers are using this type of projection. These professionals are invested in this projection because it is so accurate.
Paige T's comment, September 10, 2012 11:37 AM
This map may have some major distortion problems but Mercator found ways to "fix" this. Although the regions closer to the poles may be distorted, he spaced his lines accordingly in order to indicate to the viewer that there is distortion. Navigators have found this map very useful throughout the centuries because a straight line drawn on this map are lines of constant compass bearing.
Jesse Gauthier's comment, September 10, 2012 9:36 PM
This is another example of why people viewing a flat map, matted on a wall, are not getting exposure to an accurate model of measuring the world. I know when I was in public school, we were used to looking at mostly flat, wall maps. The curvature gives a person viewing this a great representation of the degrees in which these land masses are situated on the globe.
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The Human Head as a Mercator Projection

The Human Head as a Mercator Projection | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Such an ordinary object, yet so disturbingly presented…...

 

While we accept spatial distortion as a given in geographic projections, it is striking how much it alters reality when the same distortion in applied to the human head...worth showing when discussion mapping and projections. 

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Lisa Fonseca's comment, September 10, 2012 11:45 AM
I thought this was a good visual to demonstrate how you cannot just take a global map and just flatten it. You do not get the same scale and accurate description of the globe. While it may show multiple of the land features, the land features get distorted.
Jesse Gauthier's comment, September 10, 2012 11:46 AM
Seeing a human face spread out this way makes me now realize that a 2-D map is not a real interpretation of the world. But at the same time this is more of a strange picture than when a globe is flattened out. I guess we are more used to seeing a globe flattened out.
Mr Ortloff's curator insight, July 23, 2013 3:38 PM

Map distortion.......