1. Do you like maps?
2. Are you good at reading maps?
3. What do you think when you look at a map of your country?
4. Do you understand all of the symbols on a map?
5. What do you think when you look at a map of the world?
6. Have you ever got lost using a map?
7. Is the public transport map in your city very easy to read?
8. Could you draw a map of your country?
Design legend Michael Bierut tells the story of the accidental success of one of the most famous maps in the world — the London Tube Map.
Let’s ask a Geologist what a continent is. The Antarctic, plate, the Australian plate, the Eurasian plate, the South American plate, the African plate.
Maps are flat representations of our spherical planet. Johnny Harris cut open a plastic globe to understand
His struggle to make a flat map out of the plastic globe is indicative of a challenge mapmakers have faced for centuries: It is mathematically impossible to translate the surface of a sphere onto a plane without some form of distortion.
To solve this problem, mathematicians and cartographers have developed a huge library of representations of the globe, each distorting a certain attribute and preserving others.
For instance, the Mercator projection preserves the shape of countries while distorting the size, especially near the north and south pole.
For a more accurate view of land area look at the Gall-Peters projection, which preserves area while distorting shape.
In the end, there’s not “right” map projection. Each comes with trade-offs, and cartographers make projection decisions based on the particular tasks at hand. But if you are interested in seeing an accurate depiction of the planet, it’s best to stick with a globe.