No map shows the world as it truly is.
Maps are flat while the surface of the earth is curved.
To make maps flat, mapmakers have to give up other things.
A map that shows the shapes of countries
as they are on the earth can’t show sizes of
countries as they are on the earth. A map that shows
true areas can’t show true shapes.
Map projections are attempts to portray the surface
of the earth or a portion of the earth on a flat surface.
Some distortions of conformality, distance, direction,
scale, and area always result from this process. Some
projections minimize distortions in some of these properties
at the expense of maximizing errors in others. Some
projection are attempts to only moderately distort all
of these properties.
While some cartographers have been struggling to show
the shape of the world, others have
shown nontraditional views of the position of
the world -- the Pacific Ocean in the center, for example,
or the Arctic Ocean at the bottom. And what if we could
see the world in terms of population rather than area?
Here are a few popular views of the world.