The world in Africa

Elizabeth spotted this t-shirt in Shoreditch designed by Kai Krause. It was only when I looked more carefully that I got what it was trying to show – Africa is massive, swallowing China, the US, India and several more countries!

The Mercator projection misleads us, Kai Krause puts us straight at a glance.  A demonstration of the power of quality infographics.  The narrative to be found on the interior panel of the shirt is as astonishing as the image.  This shirt also has a miniature on the image on the front of the shirt just under the neck at the back.  People astonished by the image on the front but perhaps too polite to ask for the explanation get the chance to surreptitiously kill their curiosity.  The details:   Area x 1000km squared :  Africa: 30,221  The rest: (USA: 9,629 China, 9,573 India, 3,287 Mexico 1,964, Peru 1,285 France, 633, Spain 506, Papua New Guinea 462, Sweden 441, Japan 378, Germany 357, Norway 324, Italy 301, New Zealand 270, United Kingdom 243, Nepal 147, Bangladesh 144, Greece 132) = 30,102

I’m not sure I agree with this blurb (see Ken’s view below) but I gotta get one of these …

And I did! I wore it yesterday at GeoMob where it got a lot of favourable comment but it also prompted Ken to reprimand me.

You should read Ken’s Cartonerd Blog to understand what is wrong with this map from a cartographic perspective. I know he is correct but if we are going to feature maps in the wild, many of which are inaccurate, distorted or misleading, then I think this one warrants inclusion.

One thought to “The world in Africa”

  1. It’s a nice graphic but the point I made in my blog is simple. You cannot espouse that your work is designed to address ‘immappancy’ when it propagates the very same errors you complain others are making. It uses Mercator projected shapes which are not equal area and, so, distorts the relative sizes of the countries within Africa.

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