“X” Marks the Spot
I like maps.
Their first purpose is obviously function, but I like them for more than that. I think they make good decoration; they’re almost like art. In a way, I guess they’re no more or less art than a photograph. Both are just direct representations of real life. But one problem with maps is that they are a flat representation of the spherical globe. That’s just not ever going to work out completely. Some maps try to keep latitude or longitude lines straight, some go for accuracy of country size, and some try to hit a sweet spot between all these.
Most of us in the states grew up with Mercator or more recently the Goode Homolosine map. It’s funny how constantly seeing a particular projection can warp your mind. Larger countries seem more important, as do countries at the top, and most of our maps over the years have helped feed our self-importance. Just think about it, when was the last time you saw a map that didn’t have the US in the middle or left-middle?
I recently purchased a Peters projection map. I intended to give it to a friend, but never got the chance. Now it’s just mine! I can’t wait to find a good place for it. I’ll hang it upside down, of course. (youtube 1 and 2)
I’m still looking for a good Seattle map, if anyone’s got any good ideas. And the first person who suggest I just buy a GPS gets a knuckle sandwich.