I believe anyone who has seen the map of the world has asked why Antarctica is so big. It looks bigger on the map than Russia, the largest country in the territory, but in fact much smaller than Russia. So why is Antarctica more larger on the map?
All this begins with the Great Sea, when man knows that the earth is round and needs a map that reflects geographical location, then an indirect method of projection – the Mercator projection method.
The Mercator projection method, proposed by the Dutch map-drawingist Mercator in 1569, simply put sits on a cylindrical face that is tangent to the earth, when we place a lamp in the center of the earth, and the light emitted by the light from the lamp maps through the earth to the cylindrical face, which depicts all the points mapped and then unfolds the cylindrical face. A Mercator projection map is done.
Schematic (Mercator Projection Method)
This method can ensure the accuracy of the map direction and angle, because using the Mercator map, there is no angle deformation, its meridians are parallel to each other’s straight lines, and intersect into right angles, the interval between the meridians is equal, the interval between the parallels from the equator to the poles gradually increased, so as to maintain the direction and mutual position of the correct. The correct direction on the map is the great advantage of the map of Mercator, as long as the map follows the two-point straight line navigation, the direction can reach the destination without changing, which brings great convenience to the navigators, and thus is widely used by navigators, greatly affecting the later maritime transport, trade and a series of activities, Even today, chart projection is still the most common method.
While this kind of map has many advantages, it cannot be denied that it has one drawback. It is clear from simple geometry that the greater the area displayed on the cylindrical face from the center of the ball, that is, the closer the area to the North and South Poles on the map, the larger the area looks, the less real, and the closer the area to the equator, the more real it is. This explains why on the map we feel Antarctica is so big.
- So what is true, we can see from the data that the Asian continent is about 44 million square kilometers, Antarctica’s land area is about 12.39 million square kilometers, the ratio of the two is close to 4, but they look almost generally large on the map. But that’s not the most exaggerated, with Africa in fact about 30.22 million square kilometers, while Greenland is only 2.16 million square kilometers, almost 14 times the size of the latter, but the map looks pretty close.