Mar 31, 2017 12:36 PM EDT
For the first time in US history, Boston public schools would start using world maps based on the Peters projection model. Reportedly, this version accurately shows the relative sizes of various countries.
For one thing, the new map distorts the countries' perceived shapes. It is a good thing, though, as it prevents the exaggeration of the sizes of developed nations in Europe and North America. Thus, it averts the inferiority of less developed countries in Asia and Africa.
Per The Conversation, the first world maps were developed by European colonialists. Otherwise known as the Mercator projection, it inflates the size of the Earth around the poles, which then shrinks the area at the equator. This is why the "global North" looks bigger than reality.
To better illustrate, it is important to note that the world is round and the map is flat. If a graphic artist enlarges an image, the surface will definitely distort. It is just that the distortions in the Mercator map are hundred times more massive.
Developed by Gerardus Mercator, his model presents Greenland as larger than Africa. The truth is Africa is 14 times bigger than the former. Even if Mercator only did this so that the maps could be used to precisely calculate compass bearings, others see it as a political problem. According to the latter group, this is not just a problem in measurement but a problem in the way people see a nation's importance.
On the other hand, Oxford Cartographers reported that the Peters Projection map does the other way around. It stretches the area at the equator to relatively squash the poles. By doing this, it sports the great advantage of showcasing the real differences of countries' sizes.
Other map specifications include equal area, equal axis, and equal positions. Therefore, fairness to all nationalities is also portrayed. With the radical policies imposed by President Donald Trump, it is but time for Boston public schools to use new world maps to make a stand against discrimination.
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