We all know there is some distortion in every flat map; an accurate representation of the spherical earth is an impossible task on a two-dimensional map. Yet this new map, from Japanese designer and artist Hajime Narukawa and his design firm AuthaGraph, just took home Japan’s most coveted design award, aptly (if not creatively) named the Good Design Award.
The most commonly-used map (you know, the one from your high school geography class) uses the standard Mercator Projection, introduced to the world in 1569 by a Flemish cartographer.
The design team has created the most accurate representation of earth in a 2D map by tilting Africa and the Americas at a more severe angle than we are accustomed to. This alleviates much of the problem of the Mercator Projection; namely, that land masses near the poles (Greenland and Antarctica) appear much larger than they really are, while Africa seems much smaller than its enormous size deserves.
The result is a crazy-accurate view of earth.
Check out the AuthaGraph site to see the crazy tessellations required to produce the map. You can even purchase a version for yourself, which folds from a flat map, into a cone, before finally creating a sphere. Impressive!
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All images credit AuthaGraph.
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