Hello Dear Reader
As we have just come to the end of another JOTA/JOTI, I thought it would be very interesting to share with you this image which I found recently.
The image is a small contribution in the fight against rampant Immappancy, and was created by Kai Krause
You may or may not be aware that the standard Mercator projection maps grossly distort the relative sizes of countries.In particular, the world maps we most often use exaggerate the size of northern-hemisphere countries like Europe, Canada and USA, while under-representing the size of third-world countries clustered around the equator.
A survey with random American Schoolkids let them guess the population and land area of their county. Not entirely unexpected, but still rather unsettling, the majority chose “1-2 billion” and “largest in the world”, respectively
Even with Asian and European college students, geographical estimates were often off by factors of 2-3.
That being said do we really grasp this distortion in any visceral sense? Quite the contrary: Each time we look at a distorting world map, we are subliminally reinforced in the prejudice that we’re big, and they’re small.
If you did take part in JOTA/JOTI maybe as a follow-up in your next meeting get out the Mercator projection map and print out a copy of the above map (from the original source) and compare the countries you spoke to let the young people see how small we really are.