The familiar world map, we’ve all encountered in school (sans Antarctica), was conceived almost half a millennium ago, in 1569, by cartographer Gerardus Mercator and it has some serious flaws. In the 1970s, the German journalist Arno Peters denounces it publicly, stating that its significant distortions, especially in the northern hemisphere, contribute to a Europe and North-America-centric world. These regions are represented much larger than they actually are, while regions along the equator appear smaller. Greenland, for example, appears the size of Africa, while in reality it is 14 times smaller. Modern versions don’t do Antarctica justice either.
This year, the winner of the most prestigious design award in Japan – the Good Design Award – was the Tokyo based architect and artist Hajime Narakuwa, who has developed a new way to represent our spherical world on a rectangular surface by keeping faithfully the proportions of all oceans and continents – the AuthaGraph World Map.