# Peters Projection Map

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#### hipsterdufus

My school hosted a wonderful presentation on racism by Jane Elliot ysterday.

One of the points she brought up was the importance of using the Peters Projection Map in classrooms. My school actually uses this map in our classrooms. The Peters projection map is accurate to scale.

If you compare it to the Rand McNally Map you'll see some interesting differences.

1. The equator is in the middle of the map. In Rand McNally the half way point, which should be the equator is in the middle of the US.

2. There are 2 Russias, Two Chinas, Two Indias in the rand McNally and Russia looks much larger than it actually is.

3. Look at Greenland - it looks bigger than Africa on Rand McNally.

4. Most of Europe and the United States take up a full 2/3 of the Rand McNally map.

The Rand McNally map is what I grew up on so at first glance it looked strange - but it is much more accurate. Australia actually uses the Peters projection map upside down - because they are tired of being reffered to as "The land down under"

http://www.petersmap.com/

Rand McNally World Map

hipsterdufus said:

My school hosted a wonderful presentation on racism by Jane Elliot ysterday.

One of the points she brought up was the importance of using the Peters Projection Map in classrooms. My school actually uses this map in our classrooms. The Peters projection map is accurate to scale.

If you compare it to the Rand McNally Map you'll see some interesting differences.

1. The equator is in the middle of the map. In Rand McNally the half way point, which should be the equator is in the middle of the US.

2. There are 2 Russias, Two Chinas, Two Indias in the rand McNally and Russia looks much larger than it actually is.

3. Look at Greenland - it looks bigger than Africa on Rand McNally.

4. Most of Europe and the United States take up a full 2/3 of the Rand McNally map.

The Rand McNally map is what I grew up on so at first glance it looked strange - but it is much more accurate. Australia actually uses the Peters projection map upside down - because they are tired of being reffered to as "The land down under"

http://www.petersmap.com/

Rand McNally World Map

Well thats a nifty little map aint it.....

This is an old debate, but to call it racism is, in my opinion, going too far.

All two dimensional maps distort the world - there is no satisfactory method of projecting the globe with accuracy, something, somewhare has to be distorted.

The Peters representation is borne out of a political desire: it attempts to give country a "map area" proportionate to that countiy's "global area" - but this is done but stretching the map at certain points, which is clear when you look at it.

So although it satisfies a political end in giving African nations their fair share of the map, it is not a good representation.

says:

The Mercator vs. Peters controversy is truly a moot point. Both maps are rectangular projections and are poor representations of the planet. Ignorant statements like "Only now are the first non-chauvinistic maps being produced without bias to any one region of the earth. They are 'Peters Maps' from Peters Atlas of the World" inflame geographers and cartographers alike because they're lies - all maps show a certain degree of bias but professional map makers have not promoted a politically incorrect map such as Mercator's - it's a silly "debate."

paulmarkj said:
This is an old debate, but to call it racism is, in my opinion, going too far.

All two dimensional maps distort the world - there is no satisfactory method of projecting the globe with accuracy, something, somewhare has to be distorted.

The Peters representation is borne out of a political desire: it attempts to give country a "map area" proportionate to that countiy's "global area" - but this is done but stretching the map at certain points, which is clear when you look at it.

So although it satisfies a political end in giving African nations their fair share of the map, it is not a good representation.

says:

I agree that a map, even a distorted one like Rand McNally is not - in and of itself racism. But the distortions of the Rand McNally Map certainly don't help the matter. Remember that the Rand McNally map was originally commissioned by the Pope.

I think using the Peterson Projection map creates a good learning opportunity for students and parents when they visit classrooms.

Of course any 2 dimensional map is distorted, but the Peters Projection map is a much more accurate representation of the for the reasons I listed above.

The reason that the Rand-McNally map is distorted isn't because of racism, it's because the world is round and the map is flat. As a result, locations closer to the poles (Greenland, Russia) are stretched out, and locations close to the equator (Africa) are not. There is no distortion on the equator itself, and infinite distortion at both poles.

hipsterdufus said:
Remember that the Rand McNally map was originally commissioned by the Pope.

The Rand McNally map uses the Mercator Projection. Do you have any evidence that it was originally commissioned by the Pope, or is it simply another anti-Catholic statement that pops up in American culture from time to time.

Wikipedia

Kandahar said:
The reason that the Rand-McNally map is distorted isn't because of racism, it's because the world is round and the map is flat. As a result, locations closer to the poles (Greenland, Russia) are stretched out, and locations close to the equator (Africa) are not. There is no distortion on the equator itself, and infinite distortion at both poles.

Good points.

How do you account for two Russias, Chinas and Indias, plus the fact that the equator isn't in the middle of the map?

The Rand McNally map uses the Mercator Projection. Do you have any evidence that it was originally commissioned by the Pope, or is it simply another anti-Catholic statement that pops up in American culture from time to time.

I think my source at a lecture may have been wrong about the map being commissioned by the Pope. What actually happened is that Mercatur was arrested by the Catholic church during the inquisition, imprisoned, and charged with heresy.

Sorry for the error. I should have verified my source before posting that.

Mercator was a victim of the Inquisition, accused of heresy against the Catholic church in 1544, probably in part for his Protestant beliefs, as well as what was thought to be suspicious activity from wide travels in search of data for his maps. He spent seven months in prison, then was released for lack of evidence. He moved almost immediately to a primarily Protestant area to reduce the threat of future persecution, then later to Duisberg, Germany (near Essen and Dusseldorf) in 1552, to reduce his exposure further.

Mercator's primary scientific disciplines were cartography and geography, though

The map of Flanders which Mercator produced in 1540 was commissioned for political purposes. It must be realised that maps can send important signals about the regions which they cover, and the existing map of the region emphasised Ghent at the expense of Antwerp and other towns. It suggested an independent Flanders and Mercator's map was commissioned to correct this impression. In fact Mercator produced a map of high accuracy using data from a survey of Flanders carried out using the method of triangulation described by Gemma Frisius.
http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Mercator_Gerardus.html

hipsterdufus said:
Good points.

How do you account for two Russias, Chinas and Indias, plus the fact that the equator isn't in the middle of the map?

As for the two Russias, Chinas, and Indias: They had to cut the map off somewhere. Most maps I've seen cut it off at the International Date Line, so Alaska is on the left of the map and Siberia is on the right. This one is admittedly a little different in that aspect. Probably because it was made by an American company that knew it was going to mostly be selling the maps to Americans, so they put America in the middle. It's really arbitrary at what longitude you cut the map off.

As for the equator not being in the middle of the map, it's probably just because there's not much to see at the very bottom of the map. Most people just don't care about seeing all of Antarctica.

My advise to those who want a more accurate representation of the world: get a globe.