The Mercator projection maps we're all familiar with dates to a 16th-centry Flemish cartographer who wanted to emphasize colonial trade routes; as a result, it vastly distorts the relative sizes and positions of the world's continents, swelling Europe and North America to absurd proportions and shrinking South America and Africa.
Boston schools are phasing in the 1974 Peters projection maps in place of the Mercators, which more accurately represent the landmasses' scales (at the cost of some accuracy in the shapes of those masses -- everything is a trade-off). This gives teachers the chance to present side-by-side comparisons to their students, blowing their minds.
Natacha Scott, director of history and social studies at Boston public schools, said it was “interesting to watch the students saying ‘Wow’ and ‘No, really? Look at Africa, it’s bigger’”.
“Some of their reactions were quite funny,” she added, “but it was also amazingly interesting to see them questioning what they thought they knew.”
Individual schools in the US have used the Peters maps, Scott said, adding: “We believe we are the first public school district in the US to do this.”
Boston public schools map switch aims to amend 500 years of distortion [Joanna Walters/The Guardian]
(via We Make Money Not Art)
(Image: Gall–Peters projection SW, Strebe, CC-BY-SA)
More than 40 years ago, Eric McMillan, a renowned designer of children’s play areas, and his team created the ball pit, those troughs of brightly-colored plastic balls that children swim around in. (Ball pits also may be a giant petri dish of pathogens but, hell, the kids love ’em.) Apparently, McMillan–who went on to be […]
On Thursday, the Oxbow Prairie Horizons School in Saskatchewan, Canada staged their annual student Christmas concert. The show, “Santa Goes Green,” pissed off parents in the town where oil is one of the major industries. Here’s a description from the Santa Goes Green sheet music: Melting ice caps, global warming, surfing reindeer! The North Pole […]
Last month, Propublica published a characteristically blockbuster piece on the use of "quiet rooms" in Illinois schools, especially in special ed programs: these are a euphemism for solitary confinement, and their use is so cruel and grotesque that Propublica's reporting prompted state level action to ban quiet rooms in schools and reform the policy on […]
You don’t need to be a professional chef in order to enjoy a great set of knives in your kitchen, yet far too many would-be culinary pros settle for subpar blades that lose their edge after a few months. This Schmidt Brothers® Cutlery Carbon 6 7-Pc Knife Block Set will bring a new level of […]
Now that the latest iPhones have embraced the wireless charging revolution, there’s really no excuse for not having a wireless charger of your own. But even the best wireless chargers don’t allow users to use their phones while they’re being powered up. This Suction Powered Wireless Charger breaks that rule by allowing you to comfortably […]
You no longer need to invest vast quantities of your time and money in order to take advantage of everything that graphic design can do for your brand or business. Design Wizard Pro allows you to quickly create pro-level image designs in minutes, and a lifetime subscription is currently available for over 90% off its […]