Credit: Neil Kaye

True Size of Africa

The most prevalent flat maps make Africa appear muchsmaller than it is On a flat map of the world, Greenland appears as big as Africa.

In fact, Africa is 14 times larger. The distortion arises from a mathematical process, known as the Mercator projection, that converts the earth’s spherical surface to a handy two-dimensional rectangle. The result is that the area of landmasses becomes in-creasingly exaggerated toward the poles.

Africa should be shown to be larger than many big countries taken together. To correct widespread misconceptions, Kai Krause, a designer and author, devised a puzzle to show the true relations among landmasses (abore). Understanding Af- rica’s immense size helps us appreciate how difficult it may be to solve the conti-nent’s poverty and drought problems.
-Mark Fischetti


When shown in proper proportions, Africa swallows up China, India, the contiguous
U.S. and much of Europe.

Think of a world globe as a hollow crust: pop out the landmasses and set those slightly curved pieces onto Africa. And no, neither Russia nor Canada
comes close in actual size.
Credit: Neil Kaye

Published by J.Anand

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