, , , , ,

I know what you’re thinking.  Just 42?  Well, keep following my blog and you’ll see plenty more!

Anyway, I recently ran across a great YouTube video called “42 Amazing Maps”, narrated by a charmingly nerdy video blogger (username: vlogbrothers).  It’s full of great insights about maps, both historical and current, and it’s pretty funny, too! Pay attention, though, because he moves pretty quickly.  He actually edited out every time he stopped to take a breath!

I really enjoy how the video makes the point that areas on maps can be deceiving.  People are very unevenly spread across the globe, so many countries that look gigantic and significant will look much, much smaller if you resize them according to their populations.

In addition, flattening a spherical shape into a Mercator projection greatly distorts reality, especially at the poles.  Greenland looks bigger than Africa, when in fact Africa is bigger than the US, France, Germany, Spain, the UK, all of Eastern Europe, China, and India, COMBINED.   It’s almost unbelievable until you see the map for yourself, and realize that the actual land areas add up.

The True Size of Africa (via The Economist, http://www.economist.com/blogs/dailychart/2010/11/cartography)

Pretty cool!  Looks like the entire United States would only take up the area of the Sahara Desert.

What other maps did you find interesting?