Inaccurate World Maps

Undoing inaccurate knowledge: In 1569 geographer Gerardus Mercator revealed a world map that to this day, is the generally accepted image we have of this planet. But it has major flaws in that it dramatically distorts the sizes of the continents -which is why Africa appears vastly smaller than its true size.

Every world map that has been invented can be divided into two groups. One group fits the world into a rectangle by distorting the continents. The other group corrects the distortion, but at the cost of the rectangular shape. This is what drove the Japanese architectural engineer Hajime Narukawa to create a map which is rectangular like the Mercator Projection map, and yet correctly projects the continents like the Dyxmaxion map (1946) or the Cahill map (1909). The continents on the AuthaGraph are angled in a way that provides a more accurate representation of the distances between them and faithfully represents all oceans and continents. The AuthaGraph projection method makes it possible to grasp the size and shape of the ozone hole above Antarctica, and it becomes visually clear why it’s necessary to fly from Tokyo to Brazil via Houston.

The map also readily expresses geological themes such as continental drift and the 600 million year history of continent movements. India, for example, can be seen breaking away from Madagascar, drifting across the Indian ocean, and colliding with Eurasia to form the Himalayas.

The spherical world we inhabit has no dead ends. No matter which direction we choose to walk, the end of the Earth can never be reached. The projection method reproduces the possibility of movement in any direction with no dead end. Narukawa points out that in the past, a large bulk of the 20th century was dominated by an emphasis on East and West relations. But with issues like climate change, melting glaciers and territorial sea claims, it’s time we establish a new view of the world: one that equally presents our perspectives on the planet.

Narukawa explaining the project.
Source 1