The True Size Shows You How Big Countries And States Really Are

The True Size Shows You How Big Countries And States Really Are

Most maps you see don’t show Earth according to its true proportions, so it’s easy to get confused over the size of different countries, states and even continents relative to each other. The True Size is an interactive map that lets you see how big or small these places really are.

To use the map, you simply search for a country or state. The tool finds and highlights the area, and you can drag it around to see how it changes in proportion to the rest of the world. You can also select multiple areas at a time.

The web app’s developers explain:

It is hard to represent our spherical world on flat piece of paper. Cartographers use something called a “projection” to morph the globe into 2D map. The most popular of these is the Mercator projection.

Every map projection introduces distortion, and each has its own set of problems. One of the most common criticisms of the Mercator map is that it exaggerates the size of countries nearer the poles (US, Russia, Europe), while downplaying the size of those near the equator (the African Continent). On the Mercator projection Greenland appears to be roughly the same size as Africa. In reality, Greenland is 0.8 million sq. miles and Africa is 11.6 million sq. miles, nearly 14 and a half times larger.

It’s interesting to see just how much these places shrink or grow, and it serves to illustrate how skewed our own perceptions of geography may be. Check it out for yourself at the link below.

The True Size Of…


  • I never realised that Japan was so much bigger than the UK, I always assumed that it was a tiny country with a huge population. Turns out Japan has twice the population of the UK too. Little facts to store away for later 🙂

    • Do the true size of Australia, then drag it over the USA, then drag it over Alaska, then drag it all the way north to the top of the map…. I do not hold much faith in this page.

      • Its called a Mercator projection! do read the article properly, this representation has always showed lands closer to the poles (nothing much near the south pole, lots near the north) much bigger than they are, hence japan closer to equator, being much bigger than UK, closer to pole…

        • I see… well it sort of ruins the whole idea of comparing countries then doesn’t it?
          Why can they not create something to show accurate representations all over the globe?

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