ALERT: New Innovative 'Area-Equal' Map Can Actually be Folded Into a Globe
Typical maps help us understand the location of different regions and countries at one glance, but globes help us visualize the real picture of our planet. Just recently, an architect developed a map considered as the most concise and most accurate yet in representing the different continents and countries of the world.
Named as AuthaGraph, this design was made possible by Architect Hajime Narukawa. It was recognized by Japan's biggest design accolade and received the Good Design Award. At this moment, Architect Narukawa's design is noted as the most proportional map ever made.
Old map designs were derived from models using Mercator projection. This was through the initial presentation of Flemish geographer Gerardus Mercator in 1959. The projection provides an image wherein the oblique-spheroid earth was fitted into a flat surface. But using this type of projections, there are several errors in the representation of sizes. For instance, those countries that are located near the poles were projected to be a bit bigger, where in fact, they are not. In Science Alert, it was cited that Greenland may appear to be as big as Africa, but in reality, the latter is actually bigger, with 14 times more land.
But with Narukawa's concept through the AuthaGraph, he was able to transfer the almost exact proportion of the different areas of the planet into a flat map by subdividing the globe into 96 equal regions. This led to a more proper land mass representation, though the map might look obscure at first sight since we were used to seeing straight latitude and longitude lines as the grids.
The Good Design Award described the technology in positive statements: "The map [needs] a further step to increase the number of subdivision for improving its accuracy to be officially called an area-equal map. AuthaGraph faithfully represents all oceans, continents including the neglected Antarctica. These fit within a rectangular frame with no interruptions. The map can be tessellated without visible seams. Thus the AuthaGraphic world map provides an advanced precise perspective of our planet."