Why every world map you’re looking at is WRONG: Africa, China and India are distorted despite access to accurate satellite data Take a look at a map today, and you’re likely to see that North America is larger than Africa, Alaska is larger than Mexico and China is smaller than Greenland. But in reality China is four times bigger than Greenland, Africa is three times bigger than North America and Mexico is larger than Alaska. The distortion is the result of the Mercator projection, the map most commonly seen hanging in classrooms and in text books, which was created in 1596 to help sailors navigate the world. You might think that the advent of satellite imagery and tools such as Google maps has improved our view of the world, but this isn’t necessarily the case, according to James Wan writing in the Guardian. Source.