Although we all grew up looking at the same world map, it has been notorious for being inaccurate. For starters, you’re putting a 3-D object onto a 2-D map, so things are bound to get distorted. Not only that, but the current map, which is based on one created by Gerardus Mercator in 1596 to help sailors, puts a larger emphasis on wealthy lands in the north. The shapes of these continents are correct, but America appears bigger than Africa, for instance, even though the opposite is true.
Despite its inaccuracies, we’ve been using the same map for years, but finally, someone else has come up with a new-and-improved image of the world that might change that. Hajime Narukawa at Keio University’s Graduate School of Media and Governance in Tokyo created the “AuthaGraph World Map” to provide a more accurate representation of the world we live in.
Instead of having the continents lined up straight across, the map shows them angled in a way that provides a more accurate representation of the distances between them. This way of mapping helps show the difference in sizes between the continents, demonstrating how Antarctica and Greenland are much smaller than we believe, and Africa much larger.
The map, which won the 2016 Good Design Award, is currently used in Japanese textbooks, and it can even fit into different shapes without losing its accuracy. Hopefully, we will be seeing more of this particular map used around the world, as it’s time we start painting an accurate picture of our planet. The AuthaGraph World Map can help you understand historical shifts in geology, the size of the ozone hole, and even current flight patterns.
If you’re into the idea of this map, you can purchase your own copy online. In the meantime, let’s hope this accurate map catches on—for the sake of geography, if nothing else.