Saturday, April 24, 2021

The Ever Given Stuck in the Thames

Insizeor is a fun (but inaccurate) tool for exploring the size of things on an interactive map. I used Insizeor to create the map above showing the Ever Given container ship struck in the River Thames in London. 

Insizeor claims to show "any image to scale on top of an aerial map." Using Insizeor you can upload any image on top of a satellite map. You can then move that image to any other location on Earth to get a rough comparison of your uploaded image with any location on Earth. 

I say a 'rough idea' because unfortunately Insizor actually doesn't actually show images to scale. Like some of the other map comparison tools that have been released in the last few weeks (e.g.  the Bill Gates' Land Ownership interactive map) Insizeor makes the mistake of not compensating for the distortions that map projections cause.

You can see the problems with Insizor in action by loading an image of Wales onto Insizor. Enter the URL - - into Insizeor. Then scale the loaded image of Wales to 238,000 metres and press 'Enter'. Now move Wales up and down on the map to compare the size of Wales with the size of other countries.

You might notice that when you move the image of Wales around on the map that it stays the same size. Insizeor does not resize the image of Wales when it is moved to compensate for the distortions of the Web Mercator projection. This means that once you move Wales north or south it is no longer scaled at 238,000 metres.

In comparison have a look at The True Size Of 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.Select any country on this map and move it north and south on the map. You should notice that when you move countries on The True Size Of map they grow bigger and smaller automatically. This is because The True Size Of map automatically compensates for the distortions of the map projection used. Although the countries appear to become bigger and smaller as you drag them around the map they are in fact remaining at the same scale in comparison to their current location on the map and the other countries on the map. 

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