Alongside many recent updates to its applications and functions, Google Maps has announced an unprecedented release of ammunition to the sensible side of everyone’s favorite flame war. On August 2, the official Twitter account of the application released a tweet announcing the change. After previously using Mercator proportions to display the widest perspective, the full image of our planet is now represented in globe mode.
With 3D Globe Mode on Google Maps desktop, Greenland’s projection is no longer the size of Africa.
Just zoom all the way out at google.com/maps
— Google Maps (@googlemaps) August 2, 2018
The issue with the Mercator projection becomes apparent the further away from the equator the view travels. On a two-dimensional map of the world drawn using this method, little old Greenland appears larger than Africa, when to scale it only boasts 7% of the landmass that the continent does. Considering that this is probably the version of Earth that you saw on the wall of your science classroom, no wonder a minority of the population have developed confusions about the structure of the world.
Google Maps, used by many but remarked by few, may well be exiting the realm of the mundane and practical usage to explore further developments in the newly-broken world of AR gaming. Recent development has announced the introduction of a Google Maps gaming platform, welcoming developers and writers to explore the medium’s possibility with integration from Unity. For now, however, examples remain clunky and suspiciously similar to Pokemon GO, so the most amusing thing to do on the application remains to trawl the virtual streets in search of some wiseguy with a blow-up doll in a window, or something to that effect.
A spokesperson for The Flat Earth Society responded to what was likely a rather smug inquiry about the development of the 3D Globe Mode. “From a Flat Earth point-of-view, this is a change from one inaccurate projection to another,” the conspiracy theorists replied.
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