From the April 2005 Idaho Observer:
Map projection linked to upsidedown worldview
How we view the world is a matter of perspective. This "south-up" map gives us a much different perspective of the world. Because most maps in history were drawn by Europeans for Europeans, north is "up" and Europe is depicted at center—larger than it actually is in terms of square mileage. Can you guess where the maker of the map above is from?
"Just look at us. Everything is backwards; everything is upside down: Doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the major media destroy information and religions destroy spirituality." ~Michael Ellner
When we close our eyes and summon the image of the world’s oceans and land masses, the Mercator map (with Europe at the center) is what comes to most people’s minds. The western worldview is heavily influenced by the Mercator Projection, first published in 1569 by Dutch cartographer Gerardus Mercator as a navigational map.
There is no way to resolve the impossibilities of accurately flat-mapping our spherical earth. In other words, there is no such thing as an accurate map. All maps, therefore, are political because certain attributes must be "de-emphasized" so that others may be "emphasized."
Note the map known as "McArthur’s Universal Corrective Map of the World." This map was drawn in Japan by 15-year-old Australian exchange student Stuart McArthur who was tired of being teased by his classmates for being from "the bottom of the world." In 1979, at age 19, McArthur published his projection of the world. As you can see, in this projection, Australia is atop the world and Europe is an insignificant cluster of little countries in the lower right.
Contrary to what we might believe, maps are not merely passive tools that we choose to study for our benefit. The same social engineers who design the curriculum for public instruction covertly mold our world view to meet their needs with the aid of maps.
The active role maps play in shaping people’s minds demands that our understanding of them goes deeper than two dimensions.
See "Where in the world are we, anyway?" for related stories and more examples of how our world-view is a reflection of the maps etched into our minds.How we view the world is a matter of perspective. This "south-up" map gives us a much different perspective of the world. Because most maps in history were drawn by Europeans for Europeans, north is "up" and Europe is depicted at center—larger than it actually is in terms of square mileage. Can you guess where the maker of the map above is from?
McArthur’s map text
Inset in McArthur’s map is the following text: At last, the first move has been made—the first step in the long overdue crusade to elevate our glorious but neglected nation from the gloomy depths of anonymity in the world power struggle to its rightful position—towering over its northern neighbours, reigning splendidly at the helm of the universe.
Never again to suffer the perpetual onslaught of "downunder" jokes—implications from Northern nations that the height of a country’s prestige is determined by its equivalent spatial location on a conventional map of the world.
This map, a subtle but definite first step, corrects the situation. No longer will the South wallow in a pit of insignificance, carrying the North on its shoulders for little or no recognition for its efforts. Finally, the South emerges on top.
So, spread the word. Spread the map!
South is superior. South dominates!
Long live AUSTRALIA—
RULER OF THE UNIVERSE!!
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