The True Size of Africa An Erroneous Map Misled Us For 500 Years

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posted on Jul, 30 2013 @ 07:33 PM
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The map shows how Africa (30,3 million km²) is larger than the combination of China (9,6 million km²), the US (9,4 million km²), Western Europe (4,9 million km²), India (3,2 million km²) and Argentina (2,8 million km²), three Scandinavian countries and the British Isles (map gives no surface for these last two areas).

The Peters Projection World Map is one of the most stimulating, and controversial, images of the world. When this map was first introduced by historian and cartographer Dr. Arno Peters at a Press Conference in Germany in 1974 it generated a firestorm of debate. The first English-version of the map was published in 1983, and it continues to have passionate fans as well as staunch detractors.







Traditional world maps such as the Mercator often exaggerate the scale towards the poles, giving an erroneous picture of the relative sizes of different countries. For example, Mercator maps show Greenland to be roughly the same size as Africa, when, in reality, Africa is actually fourteen times larger. Africa also looks considerably smaller than Russia on a Mercator map, even though Africa is actually 33% larger. However, generations of navigators weren't bothered much by Mercator's misrepresentations, since they cared most about longitude and latitude, which the Mercator projection handles rather well.


We all know this;



But, in proper proportions, this one is much, much more accurate;



And just to throw you for a loop;



Now, I just learned all of this not too long ago, and to some of you this might be common information, but to see the proper proportions on a real map is amazing.

I don't know why, I just never thought it would be that drastic of a change, if any. To see how big the western countries have become, it's hard to see how this has nothing to do with suppression; to make us believe we are 'bigger' and 'on top'.

Anyway, I hope I taught you something today, because I just thought this information was crazy.


Any thoughts?

Pred...




posted on Jul, 30 2013 @ 07:38 PM
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The first time I found this out (in high school ) it blew my mind.



posted on Jul, 30 2013 @ 07:41 PM
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Well I learned that the US is back to 48 States.



posted on Jul, 30 2013 @ 07:47 PM
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There's a real problem trying to project a sphere onto a flat surface so compromises have to be made depending on what you what to use the map for. For navigation you'll want to use a Mercator. If you want to get the areas to be "real" you'll want to use a cylindrical projection.

Here's a gallery of some odd, but "accurate" possibilities.
jalopnik.com...



There is a solution though. Use a globe.



posted on Jul, 30 2013 @ 07:50 PM
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Here is another map.



Pred...



posted on Jul, 30 2013 @ 07:52 PM
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I didn't realize this until recently. I was under the impression that Africa was much smaller than it actually is.



posted on Jul, 30 2013 @ 07:52 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 


I agree and understand that, but you have to admit, that North America and Europe are quite big when compared to Africa...

Distortion is fine, but the other map solves that for making the countries appear in the proper proportions.

Pred...



posted on Jul, 30 2013 @ 08:16 PM
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Originally posted by Phage
There is a solution though. Use a globe.


Yep.. just have a look at Google Earth ( I just did) . Africa is easily seen as being HUGE. You can even use the ruler to measure the countries/continents.

I'd also say the maps above distort all of Eurasia and make it look smaller, but not on Google Earth, it's Huge too.
edit on 30-7-2013 by JohnPhoenix because: sp



posted on Jul, 30 2013 @ 08:17 PM
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reply to post by predator0187
 


I agree and understand that, but you have to admit, that North America and Europe are quite big when compared to Africa...
On a Mercator projection, yes. But that is not the only projection used.


Distortion is fine, but the other map solves that for making the countries appear in the proper proportions
Actually, the Peters map doesn't really do that. No map can. The Peters map gets close to showing the correct relative sizes of land masses but it messes with the shapes. This shows those distortions. The less circular the spot, the more distortion.
Tissot


I find the whole "controversy" pretty childish actually. My country is bigger than yours. neener neener
edit on 7/30/2013 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 30 2013 @ 10:29 PM
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Originally posted by Phage
reply to post by predator0187
 


I agree and understand that, but you have to admit, that North America and Europe are quite big when compared to Africa...
On a Mercator projection, yes. But that is not the only projection used.


Distortion is fine, but the other map solves that for making the countries appear in the proper proportions
Actually, the Peters map doesn't really do that. No map can. The Peters map gets close to showing the correct relative sizes of land masses but it messes with the shapes. This shows those distortions. The less circular the spot, the more distortion.
Tissot


I find the whole "controversy" pretty childish actually. My country is bigger than yours. neener neener
edit on 7/30/2013 by Phage because: (no reason given)



You and your "science".


(I'm joking. I love you Phage.)



posted on Jul, 30 2013 @ 11:08 PM
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...and considering all of that land mass and the whole "out of Africa" theory, why no smart homo sapien settlements that predate the ones that are being unearthed in Turkey or Asia...Conspiracy???
Or simple fact due to evidence that civilization may be Asiatic and the fact that anyone has yet to unearth the ultimate primate progenitor to settle the debate.



posted on Jul, 31 2013 @ 01:55 AM
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I run into this stuff all the time doing UV Mapping for 3D models to get texture templates for painting the textures on. It is nerve wracking trying to decide on the proper projection and flattening to get an accurate representation of a 3d surface projected onto a 2d one. Like Phage said before me compromises have to be made. I find it amazing that the ancient navigators and map makers before the 18th century were able to do as good as they did. It is no wonder so many of them sailed off the edge of the world.



posted on Jul, 31 2013 @ 06:43 AM
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This is one of the dumbest threads I've seen in a while.

How on earth does a Mercator map "mislead us for 500 years", when
- There are a whole bunch of other projections in use,
and
- **GLOBES** of the earth are as common as dirt.

This thread makes about as much sense as insisting that Ferrari has mislead us for 80 years that cars are red.



posted on Jul, 31 2013 @ 07:02 AM
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My world has been flipped upside down....literally


Great video clip.

Similarly, some old Chinese maps change the centralized focus of the map to provide a different prospective on the world. I am not sure what the current adaptations are.



How we view our world is all a matter of perspective


Great thread
edit on 31-7-2013 by MDDoxs because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 31 2013 @ 07:11 AM
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Originally posted by MDDoxs
My world has been flipped upside down....literally


Great video clip.

Similarly, some old Chinese maps change the centralized focus of the map to provide a different prospective on the world. I am not sure what the current adaptations are.

How we view our world is all a matter of perspective


Great thread
edit on 31-7-2013 by MDDoxs because: (no reason given)


I as under the impression every part of the world has their global maps centered on their on country.

Also the size of their own country is exaggerated, i know that the UK is bigger on UK maps than it is shown on most global maps - quite significantly bigger in most actually.
edit on 31-7-2013 by Biigs because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 31 2013 @ 08:27 AM
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Originally posted by alfa1

This is one of the dumbest threads I've seen in a while.

How on earth does a Mercator map "mislead us for 500 years", when
- There are a whole bunch of other projections in use,
and
- **GLOBES** of the earth are as common as dirt.

This thread makes about as much sense as insisting that Ferrari has mislead us for 80 years that cars are red.



Somebody got one too many globes for their birthday


I think its silly that you have the gall to say this is a "dumb thread" when a good number of people can barely locate their own country on a map, let alone the neighboring countries. I find this thread and the propositions being made as interesting and important.

However, I will agree that the claim we have been mislead for 500 years is a bit dramatic, but still relevant. As mentioned by another member, each nation/culture has a similar trend of orienting their maps with their home states centralized and with grandeur.

Just like we thought the earth was the center of the Universe yes?
edit on 31-7-2013 by MDDoxs because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 31 2013 @ 08:34 AM
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Originally posted by MDDoxs
My world has been flipped upside down....literally


Great video clip.

Similarly, some old Chinese maps change the centralized focus of the map to provide a different prospective on the world. I am not sure what the current adaptations are.



How we view our world is all a matter of perspective


Great thread
edit on 31-7-2013 by MDDoxs because: (no reason given)


*NOW* who's the "Great Evil West"!


I love this damn thread, absolute great links contributed by everyone.

I'll give Google Earth a go today and examine me some Africa.



posted on Jul, 31 2013 @ 08:46 AM
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Dear OP. I think your thread is mistaken. As Phase mentioned comparing the size of 3D objects on a 2D object cannot be accurate.

If you really want to compare the size of Africa find out the area in square kilometers.



posted on Jul, 31 2013 @ 09:11 AM
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the area of Africa is 11.67 million square miles where North America is a t 9.54 million. Africa is larger, but not quite on the scale presented. Russia is at 6.6 million, so just combining North America and Russia makes a lrger land mass than Africa.



posted on Jul, 31 2013 @ 10:40 AM
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reply to post by predator0187
 


Yeah I always kinda thought Africa was large. I never really was under the impression the U.S. was larger to begin with. So why is this an issue again?





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