Thursday, January 20, 2011

Let's go down to the North Pole

Have you ever wondered what our maps would look like if more of the early influential cartographers had been born in the Southern Hemisphere?
Here you go.
Notice that Hema Maps, made the same mistake that we often do when they labeled this little gem.  This is not an upside down map.  Earth does not have a top or a bottom.  There is no "up" or "down" in space.  There's just a north and south in relation to our orbit around the sun. 
Can you tell what else is different? 
Look at it for a few minutes before turning your laptop upside down....


(The Orient is located where we traditionally place The Occident.  Google it if you gotta.)

Found the map here. 

3 comments:

J H P said...

Now, that is messing with one's head!

The "names" of the oceans (North/South) weren't changed, perhaps?

Nick Rowe said...

JHP:

I was going to joke that North and South Dakota would have to swap names, but then it struck me that north is still north and south is still south on this map.

You're making the same assumption that early cartographers made - that "north" means "up."

Star Trek (or other space films) are fascinating in this regard. The ships generally have a top and bottom. They navigate the ships such that they approach a planet over the top, rather than under the bottom, hence keeping the top of their ship away furthest from the planet's gravity.

These spacecraft always have artificial gravity, so it shouldn't matter how their ship is oriented, unless the planet's gravity is stronger than the artificial gravity. But that's doubtful. Natural gravity is a weak force, and artificial gravity would have to be very powerful. Thank God for inertial dampeners!

Aerodynamics don't come into play either.

I guess that's why smart aliens have saucers, spheres, and cubes as ships.

What about the "Mediterranean?" It isn't really the center of the earth.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

JHP,
Check out my last line about the Orient and the Occident....

On traditional maps of the world, North and South America are on the left. Look at this map upside down, though....Seems kinda goofy with Europe on the left, doesn't it?