A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: David Pike
Date: 2019 Dec 14, 14:36 -0800
Frank you wrote: But the default option is now back to "Mercator Projection," which they simply refer to as "2D", and that's a terrible shame. The so-called "globe" or "3D" option is a standard "Perspective Projection" --a "bird's eye view". Few users, few students would ever find it. So we're back to "Giant Greenland" and all the other terrible distortions of the Mercator projection and the limitations to latitudes below 85°, and the folks at Google can't even be bothered to say why. It's typical design-by-committee.
It’s also a very poor and confusing example to ever younger children such as keen junior school children. It’s a bit like the media mixing up GPS, GNSS, Satnav, and Spy in the Sky, ball point pens and Biros, sewing machines and Singers, and rifles and Winchesters. As we know, 2D means anything with just dimensions of length and breadth, and when it comes to charts that could be any projection onto a flat surface. It’s confusing for Google to give the impression, probably unintentionally, that Mercator’s is the only 2D map projection. However, in these days of university students in the UK voting to remove all traces of our imperialist past, it might be they who pick this up first, because the projection gives such a poor representation of the size equatorial countries compared to temperate ones, and Google Maps is after all spreading this message to billions World wide. DaveP