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Earth's map

 
 
Reply Mon 8 Aug, 2005 08:56 am
This may sound crazy but I'm just so curious to know why Africa's (Europe & Africa) da center of all maps. Is it bcoz of Latitude 0' or bcoz those who first drew 'em were europeans? I'm confused...n I kinda need some help.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 1,119 • Replies: 16
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Merry Andrew
 
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Reply Mon 8 Aug, 2005 06:42 pm
Huh? Most maps printed in the USA have North America as the center. It irritates the hell out of me because cuts a corner off Asia and places it next to Alaska.
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alfass21
 
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Reply Mon 8 Aug, 2005 08:57 pm
So, I guess dere's no standard way of printing them.. then , huh?
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thehamster
 
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Reply Tue 9 Aug, 2005 05:44 am
No I think it depends on the manufacturer of the map.

Say what's with your spelling?
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Merry Andrew
 
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Reply Tue 9 Aug, 2005 09:42 am
There is no standard. As thehamster says, it's up to the publisher. BTW, in the Middle Ages it was customary to draw maps (no printing presses yet, all were hand-drawn) with East at the top, not North like today.
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BumbleBeeBoogie
 
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Reply Tue 9 Aug, 2005 09:53 am
BBB
This is a wonderful site re the history of map making:

http://worldmapsonline.com/History/historyofmaps.htm
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Acquiunk
 
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Reply Tue 9 Aug, 2005 09:55 am
Up until about 1750 the convention in the English mapping tradition was to put south not north at the top, which is why many early maps of colonial times in North America look upside down.

The reason many world maps are centered on the Atlantic is that world map were traditionally drawn for mariners and until the 20th century the Atlantic was the center of that activity. This is changing and I would not be surprised to see more world maps centered on the Pacific.
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thehamster
 
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Reply Tue 9 Aug, 2005 05:35 pm
Acquiunk isn't it more about political issues today and less about naval activities?
I mean a company in the States will make the Americas the center of their maps and a European manufacturer is probably going to make Europe the center, right?
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fishin
 
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Reply Tue 9 Aug, 2005 07:35 pm
thehamster wrote:
Acquiunk isn't it more about political issues today and less about naval activities?
I mean a company in the States will make the Americas the center of their maps and a European manufacturer is probably going to make Europe the center, right?


IMO, it's more about what the company is interested in emphasising and who their intended customers are.

Africa ends up centered on a lot of maps because it allows the map maker to have the edges of the map fall along the Bering Straight. If you follow that line of longitude from the geographic north pole to the geographic south pole it has the least amount of landmass of any around the world so there is less chance of cutting some landmass in half on the printed map.
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thehamster
 
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Reply Wed 10 Aug, 2005 10:36 am
That customer-related scheme of production of these maps is what I inteded to express with "political issues" or whatever term I used.

But whatever way it may be, the only way to display our planet accurately is by putting it onto a sphere and call it a globe.
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alfass21
 
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Reply Thu 11 Aug, 2005 09:51 pm
I guess u're right thehamster, but globes aren't that portable. Still, I guess there are some political issues involve.
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g day
 
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Reply Mon 15 Aug, 2005 03:36 am
I like the maps of the world that have Australia at the dead centre, most novelty shops in Sydney sell them!
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Walter Hinteler
 
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Reply Mon 15 Aug, 2005 05:25 am
Actually, maps just showed the view of the customer (= mariner), where he (the mariner) lived .... and sailed: Mediterranean-centered at first and later Atlantic-centered.


While maps at first showed just the changing view of the world by Europeans, we are now confronted with various global, national, publisher's, mapmaker's etc views.
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Sturgis
 
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Reply Mon 15 Aug, 2005 05:31 am
Did I ever mention my Uncle Iry who was a cartographer?


Well, there really might not be any point to that other than I became interested in maps at a rather early age and over time have seen the central focus of a map vary greatly according to who the printer of said map is.


Another thing which helps is to get various country maps and make your own giant world map as I did in 1988 when I covered 3 walls of my living room with them.
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Walter Hinteler
 
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Reply Mon 15 Aug, 2005 06:02 am
All this doesn't help a lot when you don't know where you are :wink:

(Which reminds of the first thing every navigator [on a ship] learns: the forefinger psotion: everytime, the captain or an officer asks you 'where are we nav', just point with your forefinger at once at a point [should be covered with water, though] on the chart 'exactly here, sir'.) :wink:
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thehamster
 
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Reply Mon 15 Aug, 2005 03:53 pm
Good job Sturgis.
How did you account for the spherical character of our little planet in your three-walled global map?
Did you make Greenland look larger than the Eurasian continent?
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EamonnKeane
 
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Reply Thu 18 Aug, 2005 11:19 am
It's also because the early mapmakers of China (which for centuries matched and exceeded Europe in technology) did not draw world maps because they believed there were no places of consequence outside of China.
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