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Pratham

The Actual Size of Greenland

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Pratham

In 1973, Arno Peters, a German filmmaker and journalist, called a press conference to denounce the widely accepted map of the world known as the "Mercator Map":

Peters' position was that the Mercator Projection—a cylindrical projection first developed in 1569 by Flemish cartographer Gerardus Mercator—was not only inaccurate, but downright racist. Peters pointed out that the Mercator map has a distortion in the northern hemisphere, making North American and Eurasian countries appear much larger than they actually are. For example, Greenland and Africa are shown as roughly the same size, although in reality Africa is about fourteen times larger. In contrast, the regions along the equator—Africa, India, and South America, to name a few—appear smaller, especially when seen next to the distorted northern half of the map. It was Peters' belief that this error led many in the developed world to ignore the struggles of the larger, poorer nations near the equator.

Of course Peters had a suggestion on how to fix this problem—his own map. The Peters Projection map, which claimed to show the world in a more accurate, equal-area fashion:

Because Peters' map showed the size of developing nations more accurately, charitable organizations that worked in those regions quickly gave him their endorsement. Eventually his map became so well received that some were calling for an all-out ban on the Mercator map, believing it to be an outmoded symbol of colonialism.

The thing is, cartographers agreed that the Mercator map was outdated, inaccurate, and wasn't the best way to represent the world's landmasses. They'd been calling for the use of a new projection since the 1940s.

One of the reasons experts wanted to move away from the Mercator was because of the distortion. However, they also understood that it was distorted for good reason. The Mercator map was intended as a navigational tool for European mariners, who could draw a straight line from Point A to Point B and find their bearings with little trouble. Because it was made for European navigators, it was actually helpful to show Europe larger than it really was. It wasn't a political statement, but a decision made purely for ease-of-use.

However, the biggest insult to cartographers was the Peters projection itself. It was essentially the same map devised in 1855 by a cartographer named James Gall. Many have recognized this similarity and now you'll often see Peters' map called "The Gall-Peters Projection."

The Afternoon Map is a semi-regular feature in which we post maps and infographics. In the afternoon. Semi-regularly. Today's top map was created by Pratham and recently shared by @Amazing_Maps. Hat tip: C.J. Cregg.

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Mapping the Most Popular Holiday Movie in Each State
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The holiday season is all about unity, but few topics are more divisive than which Christmas movie is the ultimate seasonal film. For every Home Alone fan, there’s an Elf enthusiast. To settle the score, the folks at online TV service provider CableTV.com have collected the top-rated yuletide films as rated over at AMC, and cross-referenced them with Google Trends state data from the past 10 years. They crunched the data, and compiled it into a map of each state’s favorite holiday flick.

Residents of Connecticut, Illinois, New York, and Vermont liked films set in their home states: Christmas in Connecticut, Home Alone (filmed in Winnetka, Illinois), It’s a Wonderful Life (set in the fictional city of Bedford Falls, New York), and White Christmas (set in the fictional town of Pine Tree, Vermont) all came out on top in those states, respectively.

As for Southern residents, they preferred Christmas cartoons and comedies, like National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Home Alone, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. In New England, movie fans kept it cozy with the classics, including White Christmas and Miracle on 34th Street. Pockets of the Midwest appreciated National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and residents of the Atlantic Seaboard and the Great Lakes region liked Home Alone and Elf. And out West, the Nightmare Before Christmas reigned supreme.

Check out the full results in the map above.

The Afternoon Map is a semi-regular feature in which we post maps and infographics. In the afternoon. Semi-regularly.

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Each Country's Tourism Slogan, Mapped
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Countries are not products, so it's weird to think of having to "sell" them, but that's exactly what tourist bureaus exist to do. In order to entice potential travelers, many countries have taken a cue from the corporate world and adopted their very own slogans.

FamilyBreakFinder decided to compile a list of all the known tourist slogans and throw them onto one big map. Each of the grey countries shown have an official slogan, while the purple countries do not. Some are vague (like the United States's "All within your reach"), some are enthusiastic (like Brazil's "Brasil—sensational!"), and some are confident (like Uganda's "You're welcome").

If you know of a slogan that's not on the map, let us know in the comments. 

[h/t Digg]

The Afternoon Map is a semi-regular feature in which we post maps and infographics. In the afternoon. Semi-regularly.

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