12 June 2019

This is a perfectly valid map

Not perfect, actually, because the label "Svalbard" has been placed on an island in the Russian arctic, but still "valid" in the sense that north-at-the-top is a convention, not a scientific principle.

This map was created by Stuart MacArthur of Melbourne, Australia, and is commercially available.

With a tip of the blogging hat to long-time reader drabkikker.


  1. Sadly, it still is a massive distortion of the comparative sizes of land masses. Check out the location of the equator! The northern hemisphere takes up almost 2/3 of the map.

    Related, I love this comic: https://www.xkcd.com/977/

  2. Penguin here. Where is Antarctica?

  3. Hat tips back at reader "Unknown" for notifying me of this map's existence! :)

  4. B Kliban,(Cat) cartoonist of note some decades back had this drawing in one of his books. http://www.twipu.com/klibanbot/tweet/1123493043410280449

  5. more 'not perfect': greenland is cut up and most the atlantic ocean in missing.


  6. It's just a map with upside down writing inverted.

  7. It shows how we all look at the world differently. Comments above have complained that Greenland is cut in two and the Atlantic is missing, but this is not unusual for world maps in Australia. See an example here: https://www.mapworld.com.au/products/world-hema-mega-map-pacific-centred

    Some just leave Greenland out altogether: http://www.chartandmapshop.com.au/2809640/Primary-Pacific-Centred-World-flat/0

  8. No it's not a valid map unless you're awash in a sea of subjectivity.
    The orientation of the northern pole of any planet in our solar system is based on that planet's orientation on the ecliptic with respect to the Sun. The other planets have north poles as well based on this orientation.

    1. We all agree that planets have designated north and south poles. When I (in Wisconsin) look through a telescope at one of those planets (or at the moon), that planet's North Pole appears to me to be "up," and I can draw it as such on a map.

      When readers of this blog who live in New Zealand look at the same planetary orb, the pole that is "up" for them is the designated South Pole. If they choose to map that planet or the moon, is their placement of the South Pole at the top of the page invalid?

  9. Have you tried the Yertle-Gall Projection?

  10. "This is a perfectly valid map" ... except if you live in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, South Sudan, Croatia and a number of other countries.

    Also when did Alaska gain independence?


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