from The Burning Platform:
ALL maps face the challenge of making a round globe appear to scale in two dimensions. Most maps can only keep EITHER size or shape consistent — but, never both. Of course, this skews our perception of continents and countries one way or the other.
Another problem with map-making is that maps are always made with the beliefs and prejudices of their makers’ political or social ideology. For example, here is a map made in 1285, called Hereford Mappa Mundi.
I know the details are hard to distinguish, but the map records how thirteenth-century scholars interpreted the world not only in geographical terms, but spiritual matters as well. Jerusalem is at the center of the world. East is on top, showing the Garden of Eden in a circle at the edge of the world. Christ at the map’s apex, waiting for the day of judgment. There are about 500 drawings depicting what the people of that time thought were important to include on a map; 15 Biblical events, 33 plants, animals, birds and strange creatures, 32 images of the peoples of the world and 8 pictures from classical mythology.
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