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Are mapping conventions Euro-centric? Should that change?

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Melchior
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#1

Posted 17 February 2014 - 11:13 AM Edited by Melchior, 17 February 2014 - 11:14 AM.

So as we all know, white people have comparatively small penises. We've generally tried to make up for this by shooting missiles (exploding cocks!) into other countries and having a space race with each other where we literally make metal penises and have a race.

 

We also pretend our countries are much bigger than they are, because our tiny whatnots have given us a size obsession. Also that's actually what this thread is about, I just thought a joke about penis size would be more likely to get people clicking than "The Psychological and Socioeconomic Ramifications of Euro-centric Cartography" (also the title of the world's most boring doctoral thesis) which would likely garner all of three views and a short exchange between me and sivispacem before disappearing down the page forever. 

 

Here's an area accurate map of the world:

 

450px-Gall%E2%80%93Peters_projection_SW.

 

Yeah. Africa is massive. 

 

tumblr_mzm13p0AJu1sedhy1o7_1280.png

 

So I believe we should be seeing more area accurate maps (not necessarily the one I posted above). Also we should turn it upside down for two reasons: 1) the dominant societies making maps where they are physically on top is just too Freudian to even be funny and 2) it purports the inaccurate and somewhat racist idea idea that Europe is its own continent that kind of hovers over everything:

 

tumblr_mzm13p0AJu1sedhy1o1_500.jpg

 

Discuss.

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Stephan90
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#2

Posted 17 February 2014 - 11:38 AM

Most stupid topic ever, of course by Melchior.

 

Who explored the whole world and made a realistic map first?!

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Melchior
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#3

Posted 17 February 2014 - 11:42 AM

Most stupid topic ever, of course by Melchior.

 

Who explored the whole world and made a realistic map first?!

I'm afraid I don't understand your objection.


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#4

Posted 17 February 2014 - 12:06 PM

At least Europe doesn't butcher its young's members.

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aStiffSausage
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#5

Posted 17 February 2014 - 12:17 PM

Europe's not that big, but well, we are more civilised as a whole than, well, most parts of Africa/Asia. There are exceptions in both Europe, and other continents, and each country has it's flaws, but... I don't see the point of this topic.


Melchior
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#6

Posted 17 February 2014 - 12:23 PM

Europe's not that big, but well, we are more civilised as a whole than, well, most parts of Africa/Asia. There are exceptions in both Europe, and other continents, and each country has it's flaws, but... I don't see the point of this topic.

The point is that our maps are not accurate, and exist to spread a mentality of superiority. It's not a critique of European society, the first paragraph is a joke. Do you have an opinion on maps?


sivispacem
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#7

Posted 17 February 2014 - 12:37 PM

Our maps are only wrong if our compasses are too. Why have a map with south pointing upwards? Isn't that a bit counterintuitive?
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Melchior
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#8

Posted 17 February 2014 - 12:47 PM

Our maps are only wrong if our compasses are too. Why have a map with south pointing upwards? Isn't that a bit counterintuive

You can turn the map around anyway you like and it will still be technically correct. The earth is a globe, no? Also the maps aren't wrong about that, they're wrong about the size of Europe and North America relative to the rest of the world.


sivispacem
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#9

Posted 17 February 2014 - 01:07 PM

Well no, they're not accurate for navigation purposes if they're upside down, because navigation always uses magnetic north as the main bearing point.

You have to remember that the most common form of map is the Mercator one, which transposes the globular...well, globe, onto a flat surface. This means that the further you get from the centre of a map, the more distorted the scale becomes. And given the map is centred around Europe, as was common in map-making in the 17th century, it's understandable why this distortion exists.

I think you have to balance the practicality of completely revising 400 years of navigational history, cartography and the way that most reckoning works, particularly in respect of sea and air transportation which still relies on maps drawn up in the Mercator model, for the sake of accuracy and sensitivity. Which to me seems a little bit silly. There are far more practical issues at hand that supersede allegations of Freudian one-upmanship.
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Melchior
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#10

Posted 17 February 2014 - 01:21 PM Edited by Melchior, 17 February 2014 - 01:21 PM.

The people who plan air and sea transport routes can use whatever maps they like without any observable consequence. I'm obviously talking about day to day use of maps in classrooms and the like. The only balancing of practicality and "sensitivity" (an almost dismissive term when you consider the context) would be people who want to work with maps getting pulled aside and told "yeah, Europe is massive on our maps, don't ask."

 

One-upmanship is only benign if one party hasn't spent hundreds of years brutally dominating the other physically and psychologically, with no sign of it stopping any time soon.


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#11

Posted 17 February 2014 - 01:32 PM

I'd love to see what happens to our maps when our magnetic field flips. We're due for one of those soon.

 

Interesting point, though, Melchior. I had no idea maps were manipulated for reasons of "superiority". Is this an observation you made yourself, or did you find this elsewhere? it just seems a bit pointless for a person to mess with continent sizes for such a silly reason, in all honesty. 


Melchior
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#12

Posted 17 February 2014 - 01:36 PM Edited by Melchior, 17 February 2014 - 01:37 PM.

I'd love to see what happens to our maps when our magnetic field flips. We're due for one of those soon.

 

Interesting point, though, Melchior. I had no idea maps were manipulated for reasons of "superiority". Is this an observation you made yourself, or did you find this elsewhere? it just seems a bit pointless for a person to mess with continent sizes for such a silly reason, in all honesty. 

Well, when the Mercator map first rolled out it may have been due to a flawed understanding of geography. However, I have no doubt that chauvinism is the reason we persist in hanging them in classrooms centuries later, even resisting numerous attempts to replace it with area accurate maps.

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#13

Posted 17 February 2014 - 01:39 PM

. However, I have no doubt that chauvinism is the reason we persist in hanging them in classrooms centuries later, even resisting numerous attempts to replace it with area accurate maps.

 

 

Could you provide some evidence that suggests that? I fail to see how making Africa seem slightly smaller actually serves any nefarious purpose, even though it is inaccurate. 


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#14

Posted 17 February 2014 - 01:43 PM

 

. However, I have no doubt that chauvinism is the reason we persist in hanging them in classrooms centuries later, even resisting numerous attempts to replace it with area accurate maps.

 

 

Could you provide some evidence that suggests that? I fail to see how making Africa seem slightly smaller actually serves any nefarious purpose, even though it is inaccurate. 

 

Slightly smaller? Perhaps compare the map in the OP to a Mercator map. South Africa, a landmass twice the size of Europe is also shown to be significantly smaller than Europe. Alaska is shown to be bigger than Brazil


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#15

Posted 17 February 2014 - 01:44 PM

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#16

Posted 17 February 2014 - 01:44 PM

 

 

. However, I have no doubt that chauvinism is the reason we persist in hanging them in classrooms centuries later, even resisting numerous attempts to replace it with area accurate maps.

 

 

Could you provide some evidence that suggests that? I fail to see how making Africa seem slightly smaller actually serves any nefarious purpose, even though it is inaccurate. 

 

Slightly smaller? Perhaps compare the map in the OP to a Mercator map. South Africa, a landmass twice the size of Europe is also shown to be significantly smaller than Europe. Alaska is shown to be bigger than Brazil

 

So you have no supporting evidence?


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#17

Posted 17 February 2014 - 01:46 PM

When I'm bored I masturbate. It's much more fun than whatever it is you're doing here.
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Melchior
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#18

Posted 17 February 2014 - 01:49 PM Edited by Melchior, 17 February 2014 - 01:49 PM.

So you have no supporting evidence?

It's sounds like you're saying "I refuse to even discuss this until the EU, Canada and the US release a joint statement confirming that they resist replacing the Mercator map out of a sense of superiority." Honestly the fact that it exists at all, is so blatant in its inflation of Europe and North America's size, and persists despite push for replacement, should be enough to convince any objective observer. 

 

What manner of evidence would you like?


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#19

Posted 17 February 2014 - 01:50 PM

It's sounds like you're saying "I refuse to even discuss this until the EU, Canada and the US release a joint statement confirming that they resist replacing the Mercator map out of a sense of superiority." Honestly the fact that it exists at all, is so blatant in its inflation of Europe and North America's size, and persists despite push for replacement, should be enough to convince any objective observer. 

 

 

What manner of evidence would you like?

 

 

I honestly don't care because this is thinly veiled trolling, but if you are going to say that it is subjugation and that you have no doubt that chauvinism is the reason, you should at least provide some evidence so you can have a credible argument here to entertain yourself and those watching.


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#20

Posted 17 February 2014 - 01:56 PM

But then you get on to the practical issue of having two different and distinct sets of maps, one for geographical and historical education and one for navigation. Which is just silly.

How about we just use globes rather than maps to teach world geography? That way we don't actually need to develop a second set of accurate world maps that have no actual use outside of education. Plus globes are much cooler.
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#21

Posted 17 February 2014 - 02:00 PM

My mom says it's about average.


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#22

Posted 17 February 2014 - 02:15 PM

347.png
 

 

 

On a serious note, if there is one, I would think the practical reasoning behind these distorted maps showing N. America and Europe to be much larger than they truly are would be for ease of observation.  No one wants to look at a ridiculously and realistically small, condensed map of Europe and try to figure out where things are just for the sake of it being proportionately accurate to Africa. 


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#23

Posted 17 February 2014 - 02:22 PM

I entered this thread with high hopes.

 

Boy was I let down.


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#24

Posted 17 February 2014 - 02:23 PM


My mom says it's about average.

 

And she's recorded plenty of research data.

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#25

Posted 17 February 2014 - 02:42 PM Edited by Raavi, 17 February 2014 - 03:01 PM.

Relevant: http://imgs.xkcd.com...projections.png

 

This is a classic case of "If it ain't broke don't fix it.". I fail to see how altering the Mercator map is anything more than a hassle especially for the maritime transportation industry. World Maps as they are today may be inaccurate proportion wise, but they display each and every country clearly which is pivotal for education. Besides any 2D representation of the globe is inaccurate as it is virtually impossible to maintain 100% accurate shape area distance direction aspects. Maps being proportional in size from country to country really is only relevant for a small niche and doesn't tell the whole story. There are a multitude of 2D representations of the world for different purposes. There really isn't one universally accurate one.


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#26

Posted 17 February 2014 - 02:59 PM

So as we all know, white people have comparatively small penises. We've generally tried to make up for this by shooting missiles (exploding cocks!) into other countries and having a space race with each other where we literally make metal penises and have a race.

 

 

I never thought penis envy charted the course of social and technological events.


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#27

Posted 17 February 2014 - 03:02 PM

So as we all know, white people have comparatively small penises.

You don't know that about me. I ain't cho frieeeeend.


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#28

Posted 17 February 2014 - 03:03 PM

I really dont understand the point in this topic. :/


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#29

Posted 17 February 2014 - 03:13 PM Edited by Nale Dixon, 17 February 2014 - 03:16 PM.

This is seriously the most non issue pile of garbage I've ever seen, this is ridiculous. Nobody in Africa gives a f*ck about what the world map looks like, or which time zone is the central standard time. It makes no god damn difference whatsoever and changing it would only serve to annoy every system on the planet, which works off of these maps, time zones and definitions of up and down.

 

I mean really, you're suggesting that up should be changed to down? Come on. While we're at it, let's change binary. One is now Zero! Hey, let's change musical theory. Letters have too much hegemony on notation. Now musical notes are deigned by numbers. 1, 1",2,3,3",4,4",5,6,6",7,7" Confusing and pointless? Ah you'll get used to it, we don't want those pesky numbers showing their cultural dominance!

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Melchior
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#30

Posted 17 February 2014 - 03:25 PM Edited by Melchior, 17 February 2014 - 03:29 PM.

This is seriously the most non issue pile of garbage I've ever seen, this is ridiculous. Nobody in Africa gives a f*ck about what the world map looks like, or which time zone is the central standard time. It makes no god damn difference whatsoever and changing it would only serve to annoy every system on the planet, which works off of these maps, time zones and definitions of up and down.

 

I mean really, you're suggesting that up should be changed to down? Come on. While we're at it, let's change binary. One is now Zero! Hey, let's change musical theory. Letters have too much hegemony on notation. Now musical notes are deigned by numbers. 1, 1",2,3,3",4,4",5,6,6",7,7" Confusing and pointless? Ah you'll get used to it, we don't want those pesky numbers showing their cultural dominance!

Actually, I made this topic not because I'm passionate about Cartography, but because I read another discussion which was very interesting but poorly translated into English, very difficult to read and I could only read apart of it, so I assumed we could have an equally interesting discussion only in my native language. 

 

Or you could just come in, flip your sh*t, and look like a total nonce. I mean sorry to bother you, should I have called me real life friends and had them take time out of their lives to come discuss this with me? Also "up" has no meaning in space. And a lot of people take exception to any form of Euro-centrism, it's hardly a "non-issue" just because the fate of the world doesn't depend on it. 

 

Furthermore, nobody is proposing we change our compasses and flight plans. Just hang a more accurate map in schools.

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