Three Canadas would comfortably sit inside Africa.

But if you look at your world map, you will get a different story because world map has been greatly misleading people.

Public schools in Boston are now switching to a new map that will show the corrected size of continents and ditch the European’s cartographer Geert de Kremer, better known as Mercator, and his 16th century map projection that has been used for more than 500 years.

The Mercator projection map exaggerates the size of much of the world’s landmasses. Shrinks Africa.

In 1569, the Flemish cartographer Gerardus Mercator devised an elegant solution that became the standard world map for the next five centuries.

Boston schools are now using the Peters projection from the 1970s which will be showing the actual size of continents.

The Peters projection map shows the world’s countries and continents at their true scale.

“By incorporating the Peters projection maps — an equal area representation — into classrooms, we are opening the door for students to view the world in a different light,” says Natacha Scott, social studies director at Boston Public Schools.

“By exploring geography, we also hope to increase an awareness of the relationship between themselves to other countries, communities, cultures and individuals around the world.”

The map has led to what many are referring to as colonial distortion. They have made some masses larger than reality while shrank others.

Canada, Russia, the United States and Europe are greatly enlarged.

“Somehow this map projection came to be used on most world maps, especially those produced for classrooms since the beginning of the 1900s,” says Menno-Jan Kraak, president of the International Cartographic Association and professor of cartography at the University of Twente, Netherlands.

“Most of us have grown up with this world image.”

The Peters projection map, also referred to as the Gall-Peters projection map, is considered an equal-area representation of the globe and was created as we know it in 1974. On the map, the land masses of Earth’s continents accurately reflect their true proportions.

For example: Africa is bigger than North America and South America is bigger than Europe. You know, as they are in real life.

 

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