First, go read the article, because it has a lot of important stuff that everyone should be aware of. Then come back for my nitpick about the way the author talks about maps. OK, you’ve read it? Good. Now, the first problem with her map analogy is that the black outline map is *not a Mercator projection*. It looks like it’s probably a Miller cylindrical projection. Miller cylindrical is a common default projection, and it does distort areas – but not nearly to the same degree as the Mercator. (Easy way to check if you’re looking at a Mercator – is Greenland as large as Africa? If yes, it’s Mercator.) Second, the Gall-Peters projection is actually not a very good projection. You pretty much only see it in the context of criticizing Mercator. Gall-Peters is equal-area, but it grossly distorts the shapes of places. E.g. Gall-Peters shows Greenland as much wider than it is tall, which is the opposite of reality.) Luckily there are lots of much better equal-area projections, like the Molleweide or the Goode’s Interrupted Homolosine. The article flirts with a common trap in the use of the Mercator vs Gall-Peters story. According to the common story, the Mercator is a false and distorted projection that has been imposed on us. But the Gall-Peters takes the blinders off, showing us what the world *truly* looks like. Exchanging falsehood for truth is a compelling story. But Gall-Peters is not any more true than Mercator. They are two *different* ways of looking at the world that emphasize *different* aspects of the world, because it’s impossible to have a single true flat map of a round earth. There are thousands of map projections, each of which shows the world in a different way. (Seriously, go to that link and look at all those projections and tell me that’s not the coolest thing ever.) The message of map projections should not be “that map is false, this one is true.” It should be “don’t let yourself treat *any* one map as a complete and true representation of the earth,” and “think about *why* you’re using one projection rather than another.” And ultimately, I think keeping in mind the diversity of projections is more consistent with the author’s point than a simple Mercator-bad-Gall-Peters-good story. There is no one archetype (whether “average man,” “average woman,” or “average across genders”) that can be the one true standard for design. What we need to do is to be aware of, and take responsibility for, who we’re designing for (and by implication who we’re not designing for). Perfect case study of when not to use the Mercator projection. Half of Canada lives in this little area in the south, rather than in this northern region whose size is vastly over-exaggerated on the map. The Great Browser Wars were rough on New Zealand. She was blown all the up to the equator in 2008 and then we briefly lost her completely in 2010. #NeverForget We want your land: Every country that holds a territorial dispute with another country. [3136x1725px]CLICK HERE FOR MORE MAPS!thelandofmaps.tumblr.com Reverse Mercatorisms: Greenland moved to the equator and Africa moved to the arctic [514×547]CLICK HERE FOR MORE MAPS!thelandofmaps.tumblr.com Source.