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.