Mercator projection

The Earth is roughly spherical but, unless one is using a globe, our representations of it are flat.  This presents a problem, for any flat representation of a spherical object must distort the original in some way.  As a child, I had a large map of the world on my wall.  It helped me learn geography as my young mind traveled to exotic places using the cheapest plane tickets possible: flights of imagination.  My map used the Mercator projection, which made Scandinavia appear to dominate Europe.  Greenland looked as large as Africa.

For a long time, I believed France was about as big as Congo.
As the 20th century neared its end, grumblings were heard regarding the Mercator projection.  It was pointed out that the areas where white people live are shown to be much larger than the areas where dark-skinned people live.  In other words, Mercator is racist.  Forces agitated for the adoption of an alternative projection, specifically Peter’s projection.  The Savvy Traveller writes:

A variety of social and religious groups argue that since the Mercator map makes many countries appear smaller than they really are, people seeing them may infer that certain countries are innately more important than others. This rhetoric has often escalated to the point where the Mercator map is openly described as being “racist”. Many of these groups are working to address this perceived problem by lobbying schools around the world to adopt the Peters projection map in classrooms. This movement is not without controversy, however, since educators, well-aware of the Mercator map’s deficiencies, were already adopting maps based on other projections, some of which are even more accurate than Peters.

One school of thought advocated putting the South on top and the North on the bottom.  After all, their reasoning went, putting the North on top implies that those who live in the North (mostly whites) are better than those who live in the South.  Some of my family members agreed with this point and one of them even displayed an “upside down” map of the world on his wall.  To a certain extent, I can understand this point of view.  After all, it is completely arbitrary that North appears on top and South on the bottom of most maps.   There was a time when it could be either way; the North-on-top convention had not yet set in.  This in mind, I would like to suggest that all schools start using the following map:

I think it is noteworthy that, while anti-white forces have won almost all their battles, there have been few, if any, recent efforts to impose a “people-of-color” friendly projection upon us.  I do not think this is an oversight; instead I think the forces of evil have decided to go along with Mercator and North-on-top.  The reason is probably that they must continue to portray “people-of-color” as underdogs if they wish to avoid arousing the anger/fear of what remains of the white world.  By depicting nations such as Congo as small, the masses can be fooled into thinking they pose no threat.  By showing them on the bottom, the masses can be fooled into thinking that whites still have the advantage.
If everybody realized that just one African nation, Congo, is as large as all of Western Europe and could easily overwhelm Western Europe with its large population and fertility rates, perhaps more people would be appropriately alarmed.  The powers that be do not want alarm; they want complacency.  The Mercator projection inspires complacency – and so, it remains.

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4 Responses to Mercator projection

  1. Meng Bomin says:

    When it comes to map projections, my favorite whole-globe projection is the Pierce quincuncial projection. Like all map projections, it makes distortions to bring the curved surface of the Earth into a flat representation, in this case four points of infinite distortion along the Equator. However, since it’s easy to place all four points in the ocean and because I’m a continental chauvinist, this suits me nicely.
    Of course, the Dymaxion Map, which approximates the Earth’s sphere with an icosahedron, takes a close second. Neither map gives a preferred direction to north or south.

  2. countenance says:

    I have a solution for the anti-racists:
    Use a globe.
    I wonder what they would think of a mercator projection map that showed each country’s size not as a function of land area, but as a function of GDP per capita. If they thought Europe and America were “too big” before…

  3. Arturo says:

    This blog gets better by the day.
    – Arturo

  4. Leif Oldhart says:

    URGENT: They typical Mercator projection that we see today may be called a Mercator projection, but Gerardus Mercator’s actual world map shows the land masses much different sizes, more resembling reality. See the map linked from this page, titled “World Map from Mercators Atlas printed and hand-colored by Jodocus Hondius” (in 1613). Although the shapes are not what we know today, proportions seem more accurate.

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