Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The True Size of Africa

Websites which allow you to directly compare the sizes of two or more different countries have always been a popular way to use interactive map libraries. OverlayMaps, MAPfrappeMy Life Elsewhere, Mapmerizer and If It Were My Home? are five good examples of apps which allow you to compare one location directly with another on an interactive map.

The True Size of ... is a welcome addition to the growing list of country comparison maps. This map allows you to overlay the outlines of any countries on top of another country on a Google Map. You can type any country or state into the search box to add its shape to the map. You can then drag the shape around the map to compare its size to any other country on the map.

The name 'True Size of ...' is a bit of misnomer as there will always be some distortions when using a two dimensional map. However The True Size of ... map does use the Google Maps API geodesic property for draggable polygons. This means that when you drag a country around on the map the polygon shape does resize as you move north or south on the map, compensating in part for the distortions in Google Maps' Web Mercator projection.
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