The Size of Greenland

Mercator_projection_Square

Greenland is way too big on this map

Trump apparently wants to buy Greenland.

Much like the presidential election of 1844 centered around the annexation of Texas, perhaps the 2020 election will focus on the annexation of Greenland.  Trump can channel his inner James K. Polk.  Some of you remember that Polk wanted Texas so that white supremacy and slavery could spread.  Maybe Stephen Miller is whispering in Trump’s ear with a racist plan to send undocumented immigrants to Greenland.

But I digress.  🙂

If Trump does manage to buy Greenland, the United States would pass Canada as the second-largest country in the world.  Only Russia would be larger.

Over at The Washington Post, Andrew Van Dam shows how world maps deceive us into thinking Greenland is larger than it actually is.  Here is a taste of his piece “The Acquisition of Greenland Would Trump the Louisiana Purchase“:

But while Greenland is mind-bendingly vast, most Americans probably believe it to be even vaster. As New York Times reporter Nate Cohn pointed out Thursday night on Twitter, most of us grew up viewing the world through a descendant of the map projection pioneered by 16th-century Flemish cartographer Gerardus Mercator.

Mercator’s projection displays the world with relative accuracy around the equator, but heavily distorts areas near the poles. As one of the northernmost landmasses in the world, Greenland is also one of the most distorted — it has become something of a poster child for Mercator’s shortcomings.

Read the entire piece here.

One thought on “The Size of Greenland

  1. Though the Mercator projection these days is denounced as RACIST! RACIST! RACIST!(TM), its original purpose was for ocean navigation, where it has one important property:

    ANY COMPASS BEARING OR COURSE PLOT IN A GIVEN DIRECTION IS A TRUE DIRECTION. EVERY DIRECTION BEARING IS ACCURATE.

    Like

Comments are closed.