Comparing the True Size of Every Country

Alex Camerino | | BrainsBrains
size comparison of countries
This graphic accurately compares the size of every country on Earth. Photo: Art Lebedev Studio

Most representations of the world do not accurately project their true size, this visualization does. The Mercator projection is a cylindrical projection of the world that was created for nautical navigation. This projection, while the most common projection, has a large flaw–it distorts the size of most countries.

The largest problem with projecting a 3D object in 2D is that some dimensions will always get distorted. Throughout the history of map-making cartographers have struggled with how best to project the world most accurately. In fact, in 2018 Google Maps changed to a more accurate ‘globe’ projection, moving away from the Mercator projection.

Every different map projection
Every different map projection and their attributes. Graphic: Geo Awesomeness

Take a look at these cool websites if you like checking out maps:

  • Art Lebedev Studio created a comparison to accurately gauge the size of each country.
  • Mappery has many unique maps from around the world.
  • CALTOPO is great for planning routes and navigating the backcountry.
  • Muir Way has many amazing maps for sale including hydraulic maps of every state.
Different Map Projections
Three different projections of the globe each distort different parts of Earth. Photo: Geo Awesomeness

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16 thoughts on “Comparing the True Size of Every Country

  1. Sealand: 0000000000001 square miles
    KIngman Reef: 0000000000000005 square miles
    The Rest: 1,238569877938648 square miles

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