Five maps that will change how you see the world

Donald Houston:

This is what happens with the more commonly used Mercator projection, which exaggerates the size of the Earth around the poles and shrinks it around the equator. So the developed “global North” appears bigger than reality, and equatorial regions, which tend to be less developed, appear smaller. It’s especially problematic given that the first world maps based on the Mercator projection were produced by European colonialists.

Why does this problem occur? Simply put, the world is round and a map is flat. Imagine drawing a world map on an orange, peeling the skin to leave a single piece and then flattening it. It would, of course, rip. But imagine you could stretch it. As you did so, the map drawn on its surface would distort.