“To design a map of the world is no easy task. Because maps represent the spherical Earth in 2D form, they cannot help but be distorted, which is why Greenland and Antarctica usually look far more gigantic than they really are, while Africa appears vastly smaller than its true size. The AuthaGraph World Map tries to correct these issues, showing the world closer to how it actually is in all its spherical glory.”

Source: mentalfloss.com

This just shows how subjective the concept of “accurate” can be. First off, this is a fabulous map that nicely minimizes distortions (distance, direction, area, and shape) of the land on our planet. Any criticism of the map just shows the impossibility of making an accurate 2D map of a 3D Earth, but I still think that there is plenty of room to discuss the flaws/distortions that were chosen instead of others. It is interesting to note that a Japanese contest awarded this map with it’s top honor (I doubt a Brazilian organization would feel the same way about this map). This map does make with some traditional cartographic conventions in its representation of Earth.  


Questions to Ponder: What are some elements of this map that are different from more traditional maps? This map claims to be more accurate; does that make it more useful?    


Tags: visualization, mapping, cartography, geospatial, technology.