It’s all relative

by Anna Blanch on November 5, 2011

Saturday is Overland to Oz post/planning day: this week, a little musing on why for me distance is relative and why being Australia might have a little to do with that. If you want to see maps of the trip i have planned, take a look here and here.

Australia is big. It’s hard to explain to people not from the southern hemisphere. Sad to say they often don’t get it, partly because the mercator projection does Australia no favours.

The mercator projection usually makes the upper latitudes (ie: northern hemisphere) significantly larger in proportion than they are in fact. Meaning that Australia looks puny.

This is a world map that is mostly in proportion:

Australia looks small. but not as bad as I have seen.

What if I challenge the notion that the northern hemisphere should be at the top of the map….what if you looked at this map?

or this one:

Let’s look at some maps where Australia is overlaid.

There’s also this one – except it’s missing a bunch of European countries.

Or this one for Canada:

This tourist postcard takes the cake for the corn factor. but i do like the US overlay! I’m not 100% sure of the accuracy!

Does it make sense now why we don’t have the same objection to travelling long distances? It’s pretty much part and parcel of australian culture because of the geography.

Listening. Observing. Participating. Writing. Photographing. Reflecting.

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Traveller. Scholar. Photographer. Writer. Dreamer. Teacher. Anna Blanch is founder of Goannatree, and a PhD candidate in the Institute of Theology, Imagination, and the Arts at St Mary’s College, University of St Andrews, Scotland.

Overland to Oz is a crazy adventure marked with photos and word and inspired by the incredible women in Anna’s family, especially her late grandmother, whom she knew as Nan-Nan.


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