Wednesday, April 14, 2021

The United Gates of America

Apparently Bill Gates now owns almost 242,000 acres of land in the United States. That is a big chunk of land. In fact it is so big that it is a little hard to conceptualize. Which is where the Bill Gates' Land Ownership interactive map comes in. 

The map shows a 242,000 acre square situated over New York. This square is draggable so you can move it around the map and place it over a location that you are familiar with.

Being able to drag a 240,000 acre square onto a familiar location is a great way to be able to visualize and understand the size of the land owned by Bill Gates. Unfortunately that is not what this map does. When you move the square north or south on the map it does not resize to compensate for the distortions of the Web Mercator projection used by the map. This means that once you move the square north or south it no longer shows 240,000 square acres.

The Bill Gates' Land Ownership map was made with the Leaflet mapping library. It could therefore be made more accurate by using Webkid's Leaflet Truesize plugin. You can see how Leaflet Truesize works on the plugin's demo map. Move the shapes of India or Mexico around on this map and you can see how they appear to get bigger as you approach the poles. Although the shapes grow bigger on the map the area of land they represent on the map remains the same. They just grow bigger to compensate for the map projection used. Something that the Bill Gates' Land Ownership map currently doesn't do.

1 comment:

Huehuehue said...