Google Lies

I am an unshakeable customer of Google. This blog is a part of Blogger, a Google-owned service; I am currently using the browser Google Chrome to write this post; of course, nearly every time I search something on the internet (assuredly hundreds of times a day). Nonetheless, Google lies. Everyone may have their own idea of some way Google deceives us, but for me, Google's most obvious spit in the face of truth can be seen in their service Google Maps. All you have to do is zoom out.

This is heinous - simply heinous. If you haven't read my writings on the Mercator projection before, just take my word - the world seen in the image above is nothing like our own. It is a sick and twisted fun-house-mirrored world, which, if it existed, would lengthen Siberians' yardsticks while shortening those of Kenyans, and the steps of Brazilians would be made to go farther than those of Finns. Now, wouldn't I, rabid Alaska-nationalist that I am, appreciate that the size of my homeland, great as it is already, has been expanded in this fiction? No, I am not so easily swayed by such satanic temptations. Indeed, as an Alaskan I am well aware of the geographic discrimination that so blights our world, and so I am a full supporter of cartographic justice in all situations. Simply put - Google needs to use an equal-area projection.

Wikipedia's article has a good section that begins with a few examples of how this "Google map," a Mercator projection, lies, and it includes some particulars on the Google service itself. I am no cartographer, and I realize that a lot of thought and expertise must go into designing such a useful application - indeed, one that I use all the time. Nevertheless, I must be emphatic: the Mercator projection is still an all-too-common image in millions and millions of minds, and whatever its practical purposes, it constantly creates unacknowledged and unconscious biases. I see Mercator's legacy everywhere, without even trying to find it, and regardless of the man's intentions, he has subtly spread ignorance and untruth for hundreds of years.

This is not something that Google should continue. Find a new projection. 


  1. Carol Stanton19 November, 2010

    Maybe you are a cartographer at heart. You certainly are an educator...and boy do Americans need to learn more geography! I agree...Mercator needs to go.


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