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Offline Beserker

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Why travel in Africa...
« on: August 29, 2013, 09:36:00 am »
Because there is so much of it:

Immappancy—the fact that most people do not realise how much the ubiquitous Mercator projection distorts the relative sizes of countries.

A sphere cannot be represented on a flat plane without distortion, which means all map projections distort in one way or another.
Some projections show areas accurately but distort distances or scales, for example; others preserve the shapes of countries but misrepresent their areas. You can read all the gory details on Wikipedia:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Map_projection

Gerardus Mercator's projection, published in 1569, was immediately useful because it depicts a line of constant bearing as a straight line, which is handy for marine navigation. The drawback is that it distorts the shapes and areas of large land masses, and the distortion gets progressively worse as you get closer to the poles. (Africa looks about the same size as Greenland under the Mercator projection, for example, even though it is in fact 14 times bigger.) This was not a big problem from 16th-century sailors, of course, and the Mercator projection remains popular to this day.

What it really looks like:
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Offline laurika

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Re: Why travel in Africa...
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2013, 09:49:01 am »
if you have a backyard the size of Africa...how can you not play in it...its a no brainer really...

 "There is no happiness for him who does not travel...Therefore, wander... The fortune of him who is sitting sits, it rises when he rises, it sleeps when he sleeps, it moves when he moves... Therefore, wander!"...The Rig Veda - 800 - 600 BC..

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Offline bud500

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Re: Why travel in Africa...
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2013, 10:08:28 am »
Wow! Puts Riaan Manser's cycling trip in a different light...
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Offline KaTooMatt

Re: Why travel in Africa...
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2013, 10:16:18 am »
The amazing one for me is India. You hear so much how big it is and how many people live ther but it is not much bigger than South Africa. It looks like it will fit in half of SA with Namibia and Angola based on the diagram used.
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Offline cloudgazer

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Re: Why travel in Africa...
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2013, 10:21:30 am »
Yeah, I also recall reading that all continents in the northern hemisphere are shown much larger than they actually are in the Mercator projection.

Apparently the Peters Map Projection is the most accurate when it comes to area size.

makes the world look a little stretched though
 

Offline Copernicus

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Re: Why travel in Africa...
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2013, 10:51:44 am »
Interesting.  But the USA remains BIG no matter how you project it.  And they have bombs too  :o
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Offline 2StrokeDan

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Re: Why travel in Africa...
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2013, 10:30:38 pm »
Interesting.  But the USA remains BIG no matter how you project it.  And they have bombs too  :o

And lots of generals that is itching to use them! :eek7:

If Africa could stabilise a bit, no a lot, it could be the most wonderful continent to do anything in. Rebel HQ. :imaposer: