Revealed Cartographic Ignorance

In: Maps

30 Dec 2013

The creator asked 30 people to draw a map of the world and then combined the results. Pretty sad. (the bottom image – it’s a mockup, not an exact replica of the real result)


The original drawings are even more pathetic, for the most part:

image image

This one is pretty impressive:


5 Responses to Revealed Cartographic Ignorance


Bill Shander

December 30th, 2013 at 4:02 pm

To be fair, this could just as easily be headlined “Revealed lack of drawing skills” as it does not necessarily reflect cartographic ignorance. That being said, we all know how bad people are at geography so…


Patrick de Freitas

December 31st, 2013 at 10:29 am

One other thing to add to the mix: the power of Mercator. Why did all the contributors evidently try to draw, however imperfectly, that version of reality, with Europe relatively so huge?



January 10th, 2014 at 8:22 am

I seem to remember something similar in Knox’s Human Geography from the 1980s/90s. People were asked to draw mental maps of their neighbourhood. It was interesting to see the extent and detail of different responses.

With regards to the above, while it is pretty sad how little people know of the world, to play devil’s advocate; just how important is it?

And I’m a geography graduate.



January 11th, 2014 at 12:09 pm

I would imagine most people couldn’t accurately draw a map of their home town, especially if you are expecting one “to scale”, never mind parts of the world they have barely heard of.



January 28th, 2014 at 8:00 pm

And this is why we are sailing around the world… to teach kids the real power of geographical knowledge.. Nice post!

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