We love maps. And there are so many great maps available now on the Internet. You can check out a mind-blowing global wind map. Or see lightning strikes live on this online map. You can even check out 40 different maps that explain outer space.
Maps often trick the eyes, though, especially the two-dimensional Mercator projection that we're used to seeing, like the map above. Because you're taking a three-dimensional spherical map and laying it down flat, there is distortion. Countries near the poles look larger, while those close to the equator look smaller.
This can be particularly confusing in an educational setting. Show a student of any age the map above, and ask them how large Greenland is. They'll likely say it's close to the size of the African continent. In reality, Africa is about 14 and a half times larger than Greenland!
The developers behind The True Size website are solving that problem. On their website, you choose a country, and as you drag it near another one for comparison, it distorts to the appropriate comparative size. Type in Greenland, drag it over the African continent, and you'll see its true size. This is a great tool for educators, students and those intrigued by cartography.
Click the blue button below to visit The True Size, and let us know what you think of the site in the comments below.