Friday, April 23, 2021

Manhattan, Texas

Stamen Design has been inspired by the recently popular map Ever Given Every Where interactive map to create their own size comparison map. Ever Given Every Where allows you to superimpose an image of the Ever Given container ship on top of any other location on Earth. The map enables anyone to compare the size of the ship (famous for becoming stuck in the Suez Canal) by comparing it to any location that they are familiar with. 

Stamen's new scale-a-tron map lets you draw any shape on an interactive map and then move that shape anywhere else on Earth. For example in the map above I have moved Manhattan to Dallas, Texas. Of course I am not restricted to Texas. If I want I can use scale-o-tron to compare Manhattan with San Francisco, Paris, Rome or any other city in the world. 

There has been a little trend for creating size comparison maps recently. Last week the Bill Gates' Land Ownership interactive map claimed to show how much land Bill Gates owns in America. The map displays a large square which it claims is 242,000 acres in size. Unfortunately the Bill Gates Land Ownership map does not resize itself when it is moved on the map to compensate for the distortions of the Web Mercator projection. This means that once you move the square north or south it no longer shows 240,000 square acres.

Stamen has not made the same mistake with scale-o-tron. Any shape that you draw on this map will automatically resize itself when you move it on the map to compensate for the distortions of the map projection. scale-o-tron is therefore very useful for demonstrating how much the continent of Africa is distorted by the Mercator map projection (see screenshot above).

If you can't be bothered to draw the outlines of countries yourself then you can use The True Size Of comparison map instead.This interactive map allows you to select any country on Earth and drag it around a world map to see how it compares in size with any other country or countries.The True Size Of is also a very useful map to use if you want to demonstrate the distortions caused by the Web Mercator projection.

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