Monday, March 26, 2007

Viewing and Thinking about the World Anew

I love maps. Maps allow me to envision the world, its phenomenon, and the interactions of people. They allow people to communicate with others in a form which is a neigh-universal language. Without maps the study and use of geography is pointless.

Maps can lose their luster however when we think of them as mere objects. I discovered that just a while back. I was used to seeing world maps centered on the intersection of the prime meridian and equator. This common style world map splits the Pacific Ocean in two. Then I found a map which was centered over the Pacific Ocean. I realized then the remoteness of the Pacific Islands, the wonders of international trade along the Pacific Rim, and the vastness of the seas. By just changing the focus point I saw the world anew.

I began to tinker with the map and globe. The best view (my recommendation at least) to start your mind thinking again about the world is below:

We often hear of how approximately 70% of the earth's surface is water. But this view which centers on the Pacific upside-down allows one to truly comprehend that fact.

Catholicgauze recommends all to seek out new maps and view globes from exotic angels. Do not let maps and globes become static drawings but instead let them remain dynamic learning tools. Explore the representations of the world in a whole new light today!


Mapgeek said...

Nice post and a very relevant point that we need to examine world maps (and the globe in general) in more than a basic Mercator projection viewpoint. When I read your post I was reminded of the early U.S. attempts to have the prime meridian pass through Washington D.C. (or New York city?). Kind of interesting to see the graticules spread out from the U.S.,which we all *the* center of the earth and universe for that matter. ;-)

Nice blog...more geography centered versus the other GIS-specific, what's happening in the industry ones. Although those are critical to stay abreast of the changing GIS landscape.

Catholicgauze said...

Thanks! I try to get the blog focused on all aspects of geography- not just geotechnology.