EVERY MONTH, WE PUT TOGETHER A GALLERY of the coolest maps we saw on the internet. Interestingly, thanks to the huge amount of maps constantly coming onto the internet, a lot of sites have been publishing pieces on map literacy, and how to take the right information from maps without allowing yourself to get misled. The popular science site, I Fucking Love Science wrote about how the projection of maps alone can totally change your perception of the world. Because the world is round and maps are flat, mapmakers are forced to deal with distortions in either the size or distance of places on the planet. Even the orientation of the continents is arbitrary — there’s no reason, for example, that all maps should show Europe in the center, with the America son the left and Africa, Europe, Asia, and Oceania on the right. They could just as easily be the other way around.
At the same time, there’s no reason that north must be up and south must be down — this is merely convention. At the end of the gallery, we’ve included two videos showing the projection problem, one from Buzzfeed, demonstrating size problems in maps, and one from the awesome show The West Wing, in which geographers explain to a White House staffer the problems with map projections. In the meantime, here are some of the best maps of the month.
This post wouldn’t even sort of be possible without the awesome MapPorn subReddit.