Monday, April 11, 2011

Google Maps Turns the World on Its Head

Right Way Up

For those of you who are tired of Google Maps being upside down I have created this map of the world that places south at the top of the map, where it truly belongs.

It has been bugging me for a while that Google Maps insists in the mistaken belief that north equals up. As everyone who lives in the southern hemisphere could tell you south is the true up and north is really down.

Unfortunately in flipping the world the right way up I also seem to have reversed the left-right polarity. This has the effect that when you attempt to pan the map left the world moves right and vice versa.

For the best effect you should view this in Firefox as Internet Explorer and Chrome seem to be displaying the country labels upside down.

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3 comments:

circuitmouse said...

I'll never forget when the group of cartographers showed that map to Allison Janney on the "The West Wing" --priceless!

Craig said...

Interesting that in the early days of imperialism, maps did indeed have south at the top of the map. I heard that once the British had spread their empire across the planet, they figured that they should be "on top" so north was flipped to the top of maps. Don't know if it's true, but it sounds plausible.

circuitmouse said...

Early cultures often tended to put themselves at the center of their maps, but it was the British that finessed (or strong armed)the world's maps, setting what was until recently known as the Greenwich Meridian at zero degrees longitude. Leave to France to balk at setting Greenwich as the center of the universe for as long as they could hold out after virtually everyone else capitulated for ease of navigation, from Louis XIV (the Sun King) until the outbreak of WW I.