Live from Lord North Street – Why Maps Are Often Wrong

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We’re joined by the Institute of Economic Affairs’s Head of Education Dr Steve Davies to discuss: Why maps are often wrong.

Interviewed by the IEA’s Digital Officer Madeline Grant, the pair discuss Steve’s view that we are currently devising maps (and, therefore, looking at the world), in entirely the wrong way.

Steve argues that, although it is physically impossible to portray the reality of the spherical world on a flat map, many of the maps in wide circulation are giving a distorted view of the world.

In particular, the ‘Mercator’ projection map, a staple of classrooms across Britain, tends to overemphasise the size of the Northern regions of the world, at the expense of the Southern parts.

Steve proposes a radical overhaul of the way we compile maps, arguing that viewing the world as a series of cities and city regions, and looking at indicators such as connectivity, is a far more productive method of mapping than relying solely on traditional indicators like national borders.