, and as part of this we have been discussing the implications of the general reliance upon the “Web Mercator” projection in web mapping. This discussion has been covered many many times by various outlets and (you may be pleased to hear) I am not looking to repeat it here. I am also not going to get into a description on the “Mercator vs Peters” discussions that started with the publication of Peters’ map in 1973, and seem to continue to this day. If you would like to read more about this, I would recommend reading the relevant chapter in either simple example if you would like to examine the distorting effects of the “Web Mercator” projection, it allows you to move a circle and Greenlend around the map to see how they are distorted in different locations. This article is going to very briefly describe a common misunderstanding that seems to take place when comparing these two projections. When preparing a lecture about this, I had presumed that Google Images would be bursting at the seams with useful comparisons of the two projections, but not so. if you don’t believe me: whilst there are many comparisons available, they are not what I would call ‘useful’. The reason for this is that they do not provide equivalent images for the purpose of comparison, which can lead to misunderstandings relating to the nature of the issue, particularly when accompanied by the rhetoric that frequently guides these discussions. The reason that I do not think the images are ‘equivalent’ is because the maps never seem to be shown at the same scale, which would be the only fair way to compare them. I will illustrate this issue with some images of my own: technique that I have used elsewhere in this blog, as I think that it provides a simple way to visually compare the two projections, and is much easier to interpret than the usual “side by side” approaches: In this image, both maps have been roughly scaled to fill a given image size (a standard Powerpoint slide in this case).What I was after for my lecture, however, was a comparison of the two maps at the same scale, which allows for a much more meaningful understanding of the differences between the two projections. When the same comparison is done but with both maps at the same scale, the result is something like this: I’m sure you’ll agree that this is quite a difference! And the difference is important because of the misunderstanding that I referred to earlier in this article. 2014 news article from Mail Online is a classic example of this mistake, with a sensationalist headline claiming that the Mercator projection is “ “. Aside from the fact that this article was released 41 years too late, this statement is completely incorrect: The Mercator projection is certainly not “ “, and Africa China and India are not very distorted at all. It is the countries that are closer to the poles that are severely distorted, greatly exaggerating their area, so making the equatorial countries appear smaller by comparison (you can go back to the simple to see for yourself this if you like). This is much clearer in the latter map, which is why I was looking for such an image in the first place, because maps like the former one hide this effect. To return to my earlier comment, it is probably wrong of to describe the former of these two images as being “not useful”. In fact, if you were producing a map of a given size, the first image is, in fact, providing you with a useful approximation of the difference that you would see on the page (as you would naturally scale the map to fit the page). What I should have said is that the former image is less useful for understanding the two projections. For this purpose, I believe the latter image to be much more use, if only to prevent The Mail from completely misconstruing the issues in their headlines. Nowadays, you rarely see Peters’ projection used in an atlas or GIS, but it remains a useful case study with which to demonstrate why there can be no universal “best” projection (as was Peters’ original claim). Rather, you must make sure that your projection of choice is suitable for its given purpose, and not just use Mercator because everyone else is. Source.