As I’ve mentioned before, Europeans tend to think that most American cities are located much further north than they actually are (because we don’t take into account the effects of the Gulf Stream).
To illustrate this, I’ve tried to place a few cities of the US and Canada on a map of Europe:
In general, US cities are on the same latitude as Spain, Italy, Greece and northern Africa, while Canadian cities would be placed in Germany and France. Only Alaska really is far north.
PS: If you want to do what I did, search for a place name in Google Maps, right-click on the “A” icon and select “What’s here?”; the coordinates will now appear in the search bar, and you can replace the longitude number with a European value (between -10 and 40).
Some years ago, a colleague of mine from Cartographic gave me a wonderful map: It showed Scotland and Ireland, but rotated so that Scotland was straight above Ireland, and with all place names in Irish and Scottish Gaelic.
I’m not sure why, but the usual way of displaying Ireland next to England makes me feel Ireland is far away from Scotland, when they really are very close together.
The map sadly got lost when I moved from Mavisbank Gardens to Rose Street, but I’ve tried to recreate the effect here, although I’ve arranged the two countries horizontally instead of vertically:
Feel free to tell me that everything looks entirely normal to you.
If you’re anything like me, however, you will be amazed how some places (such as Belfast or Islay) suddenly look like they’re central rather than on the periphery.
I just discovered the other day, that Multimap have added a wonderful Bird’s Eye view to their maps.
It basically means the photos are taken from an angle, rather than directly above – see the examples next to this.
I find this much easier to recognise and understand, but of course it means some objects are invisible because they’re obscured by other objects.
Our house looks pretty much as it did when we bought it in the summer of 2007, and our car is not there.
On the other hand, there’s a car that looks a lot like ours in two places: In front of our old flat in Rose Street, and in front of Phyllis’s parents’ house.
Funny how it makes Scotland look like a sunny place, by the way.
Speaking of American maps, I recently found this nice map that shows how the map of North America would have looked if there had been many more independent countries. Not just the CSA and Texas, but also places like California, Five Nations and Vermont.
I like it. Somehow it makes it look more like Europe, no?
I do wonder, though, whether the USA in such a scenario would have had that many more inhabitants than the other countries. Wouldn’t many of them have been better at attracting immigrants on their own, and wouldn’t the US have been less popular?
I found a superb site with hundreds of maps of the World where the sizes of countries have been changed to reflect other figures, such as population, GDP, aircraft passengers or AIDS.
They’re both good fun and very thought-provoking.