It’s a wonderful world, then…
But Mercator is problematic — not perhaps to 16th century European colonials, happy to see England in its rightful and dominant size and place, but …
It’s been widely used for centuries, including today in various forms by Google Maps and many other online services. This map preserves directional bearing, presenting rhumbs (imaginary lines that cut all meridians at the same angle) as straight lines, thus making it a useful tool for navigation.
Despite its benefits, the Mercator projection drastically distorts the size and shape of objects approaching the poles. This may be the reason people have no idea how big some places really are
But all the other attempts look horribly distorted too, and at least we’re used to Mercator. Even if it does make Greenland look the size of Africa, for example. (You could fit 14 Greenlands in the real Africa.)
But now enter Tokyo-based architect and artist Hajime Narukawa and his AuthaGraph map. Quite fascinating. It seems if you take the sphere of the earth and project it onto an inflated tetra… Or to look at it another way, if you flatten the earth’s 96… Well, here’s the diagram.
Simple, yes? Until you see the product, which you may find — odd. But very accurate, insists Narukawa, who is a man on a mission.
According to Narukawa, his map means a lot more than just a faithful cartographical representation of our planet. Because Earth is now facing down issues like climate change and contentious territorial sea claims, Narukawa believes that the planet needs to look at itself in a new light — a view that perceives the interests of our planet first and its countries second.
The Chaps could not say fairer than that.
No we couldn’t – and lest you think the chaps are out there on yet another meaningless tangent – know that the Boston Public School system are already on the ‘abandon Mercator trajectory‘ … now we just need to pop over there and let them know about Narukawa san … this is new.
The Chaps have proudly proclaimed before their liking for the skillful graphic presentation of varying types of information. The sort of presentation that makes, say, the route and attrition of Napoleon’s March on Moscow accessible to anyone interested in, say, why it was such a disaster.
And indeed there is such a graphic, illustrating not only route but temperature and diminishing size of the force.
While the Chaps are always appreciative of Great Leaps Forward, they also appreciate Great Leaps Sideways, or in some cases Great Standings Still. So it is with a sigh of relief from the other, more depressing technological high-jinks around at present that the Chaps greet the newest Ig Nobel Prizes. Or, as they style themselves, research that could not, and probably should not, be repeated.
There is also a Journal of Irreproducible Results–
but such things seems to have gone worryingly mainstream of late.
Or so this Chap heard, from someone who does not live at the base of a west-facing mountain. He understands there are, oh, oodles of photographs from all one’s friends, who are dying to share them.
And yet, as this Guardian feature delicately points out, photographic enthusiasm may be little substitute for skill. Especially when the subject is, as here, just a little tricky and elusive… Still, better luck next time, what?
No, not Aussie music, not that there’s anything wrong with the convict heritage… This Chap is actually very partial to Midnight Oil, in particular…
.. and I assume we are also not back to Pink Floyd so please – do go on …