Saturday, December 22, 2018

The True Size of Countries


One of the most shared maps on social media over the last two months has been Neil Kaye's animated map which animates countries on a Mercator projection to 'their true size.' The animated map is a great illustration of the large distortions applied to countries the further they are from the equator on Mercator maps.

Engaging Data has now created an interactive version of the map using Leaflet.js. Real Country Sizes Shown on Mercator Projection allows you to switch between countries displayed using the Mercator projection and their 'true size'. The animated transitions again provide a great illustration of the distortions created by using a Mercator projection. Conversely it also provides an illustration of why the Mercator projection is so useful for navigating around the world.

As well as the animated map Engaging Data has examined the amount of distortion applied to different countries when using the Mercator projection. Greenland has the largest percentage difference between its size using the Mercator projection and it’s real size. While Russia is the country with the largest absolute difference between its 'real' size and its size on a Mercator projection.

1 comment:

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