I clearly remember the day when I realised that the most common view of the Earth that we tend to look at — a reprojection of it onto a cylinder, which we usually then unwrap onto a flat plane — was terrible at showing you the relative sizes of countries. The further away you get from the equator, the bigger the distortion from the real size, and that blew my mind as a kid.

There are a number of such projections (the common one I just talked about is the Mercator), but none beat looking at it for real on a globe or, much more likely these days I guess, Google Earth.

I spotted a link to a website today that attempts to show you how inaccurate the Mercator projection really is. You choose a country using the search box, then you get to drag that around on top of other countries on the map to help you compare the “true” size. I use quotes because I think there’s some inaccuracy in the projection, but it’s very fun to play with.

Link: The True Size Of…