Jueves, 23 Marcha, 2017

Are Maps Accurate? Boston School Maps Depict Africa Bigger than North America

School kids using map that shrinks US, makes Africa and South America look bigger School District Is First in US to Adopt This World Map
Ramiro Mantilla | 21 Marcha, 2017, 02:47

The Boston school system says it is the first in the USA to adopt a world map that shows how big countries really are in relation to each other, unlike the one most of us grew up with.

Boston public schools spokesman Colin Rose says the replacement of the Mercator projection was part of an ongoing effort to "decolonise the curriculum" and to challenge the "symbolic representation that put Europe at the centre of the world". And when you continue to show images of the places where people's heritage is rooted that is not accurate, that has an effect on students'.

"The Peters projection has created a lot of controversy over the years because it distorts shapes, but it's enormously visually important in terms of the scale and position of the terrain on the Earth, showing the correct size and proportion of the continents", Bob Abramms, the founder of map publisher ODT, told The Guardian.

Nations are also depicted inaccurately on Mercator Projection maps, including Greenland, which looks almost the size of Africa on Mercator Projection maps when in reality the country is about 14 times smaller, and Alaska, which is pictured bigger than Mexico. South America and Africa look longer and are bigger.

Boston's public schools have been rolling out the Gall-Peters projection maps in social studies classes, as it "more accurately reflects the size of the world", Dan O'Brien, press secretary for Boston Public Schools, told Travel + Leisure.

However, it paints a very Eurocentric view of the globe and it distorted land masses because of its attempt to depict a round planet on a flat map. Mercator Projection maps will not be removed from classrooms but instead will be used to show comparisons and differences of world views over time.

The Gall-Peters Projection was presented by German historian Arno Peters in 1974, and it matches a work by 19th century Scottish map-maker James Gall.