Comparing countries with “The True Size of”

The True Size Of-Aust2

If you want a visual way of comparing the size of a country with another, on tool you could use is “The True Size of’ . It lets you type in the name of any country or state, see the statistics on its true size and then grab the outline of that country and drag it, as an overlay, to another one (or continent), allowing you to visually compare the land masses.

Very simple to use, it works as follows:

  • Type in the name of a country or state.
  • Hover over the outline selection to view the information about size
  • Click on the section to drag the overlay to somewhere else on the map
  • To rotate the your chosen country’s map, rotate the compass points on the left-hand side of the screen.
  • The True Size Of_China-AfricaIf you wnat ot you can type in a second (or more countries) to get a coloured outline and information.
  • Right click on the selection to delete it.

The True Size Of-Aust-China

The True Size of means you can now properly compare countries. Some of the students at our school have been compaing countries to Australia in geography and this is a great visual tool for them.

The site’s creators say the Mercator projection, which many world maps are based off, distorts the size of certain countries and makes regular size comparisons difficult. “Cartographers use something called a “projection” to morph the globe into 2D map. The most popular of these is the Mercator projection. Every map projection introduces distortion,” the site claimed.

“One of the most common criticisms of the Mercator map is that it exaggerates the size of countries nearer the poles (US, Russia, Europe), while downplaying the size of those near the equator (the African Continent)

I love that the app, created by James Talmage and Damon Maneice, was inspired by an episode of The West Wing and an infographic by Kai Krause entitled “The True Size of Africa“.  (I do not watch a lot US shows, I loved The West Wing.)