August 29, 2018

The World is Round, Your Map is Not

4 minute read



The World is Round, Your Map is NotI once tried to gift wrap a soccer ball. It taught me an invaluable lesson.

Assuming you agree with me that the earth is round, it might be surprising to learn that the map of the world we studied in grade school is wrong. Did Mrs. Valenski lie to me?

It’s safe to say that our sense of place, even home, is centered around a particular view of the land masses on our earth. As a Canadian, I was always proud with how large our country was. And yet, it’s not quite accurate.

I’ve since come to accept that the world is different than the map that graced Mrs. Valenski’s walls. I’ve learned that there is no way around it—a flat map can’t ever represent the round earth.

As an indoor mapping company, Jibestream's purpose is to make the indoor world addressable to change the way you live, work and play indoors. We do that best with maps that are geolocated to the earth. Yet just as wrapping that soccer ball took some serious trade-offs, so do flattened maps. In order to take the earth’s 3D sphere and translate it to a 2D flat map, compromises are made. These disputes are settled by using Map Projections.  

A Projection is a way of seeing the world—and there are hundreds of acknowledged different world projections. Do a quick search—and you will see an array of funhouse mirror versions of our earth. Hollywood has highlighted how some can be controversial. No matter your preferred projection, one thing is universally true...

All maps are mostly right, yet all somewhat wrong.

Join Frank and Amanda as they explain this fascinating paradox!




Topic(s): Mapping

Kara Wilson Oliver

Kara is a dedicated product leader with a knack for defining product value and mentoring through stories. When not accompanying her sons to hockey practice (ready with her cowbell) or facilitating goals groups, Kara enjoys losing herself in a good historical fiction book.

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