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+Ronnie Boadi provided a link to an excellent article about the warped accepted appearance of our World: . Our perception of the world is important, and teaching it 'wrongly' to everyone is damaging to people's views on the global society.

The Hobo-Dyer Projection: This is probably the most realistic rectangular projection of the globe - to maintain equal area of landmass, "the shapes have become progressively flatter [but wider] towards the poles, but shapes between 45° north and south are well preserved." (full view:

The reason this map appears to be upside-down is due to the etymology of the word 'north'. According to "The word north is related to the Old High German nord, both descending from the Proto-Indo-European unit ner-, meaning "down" (or "under")."
Down, under. Not Up or above.

Modern society (and generally whoever created the map) has always made the Northern Hemisphere more important over the rest of the world. The previous accepted version, the Mercator Projection, placed the equator 2/3s down the map, elongating the north greatly. Larger landmass creates the illusion of being greater.

Blergh, I'm bored of typing, but hopefully you get the point I'm trying to make. Perception is an incredibly important thing.

Ross Davidson's profile photoKevin J. Chen's profile photoJames Downs's profile photoTim Groeneveld's profile photo
We used to have a map like this in the office and it blew my mind every time I looked at it.
This actually explains a lot... the world truly is upside down.
Wow...that is epic...I never knew this! Now I'm so glad I saw this! Thank you so much for sharing really helps!
Don't tell the Australians and New Zealanders, oh wait...
Fascinating... going to show the kids this one just to see the world map in this way.
Thank you.  Great post. Plussed and shared.
This is neat. Personally, i assumed maps were oriented as they typically are because of magnetic north on a compass, not to make one side feel more special than another. But it's certainly fun and interesting to view varying perspectives. 
then why is australia at the top
Maps are psychological warfare designed to indoctrinate political ideologies on minds that they pretend to educate.
I saw this back a few months ago and it motivated me to flip the map I have hanging in my family room :)
Sam Bryan
Peters map isn't a perfect alt. In fact no flat map works, that's why we have globes.
really quick you do know im just a kid so i dont care about polotics so it looks upside down to me
+Rainy Payne pro tip: if you don't care enough to read the post, then don't bother commenting on it. Or saying stupid things. Clearly the map is upside down, so obviously the post is about that.
I'm adding a pointless comment to this thread also.
There were two meanings for the word that has become North, both below, and left.  In the context of directions, left makes far more sense, as you can tell some one to walk left, but what does walk below mean?  And since North is left of the rising sun, which would be a logical frame of reference, it is far more likely that this is the context in which it was used.
Now that I'm thinking more about this, staring up at the globe on my mantelpiece, it strikes me that i tend to see the world more in East/West terms rather than North/South, and i think that has to do with sunrise and sunset and the time zones. The seasonal aspect of it is farther removed or maybe just harder to grasp (for me,) but also less relevant in how we communicate these days.

Anyway. Just a snack for thought to share. :-)
+Lily Alice, I don't think the standard map is aimed at making one side feel special, I think they have traditionally ben a reflection on the priorities of the map-maker, and has subtly reenforcing the bias overall.

The real point to be made is not about maps at all, but of our understanding of the world in general.  What other perceptions might we have that convey the same sort of bias without our questioning them?  Why do we think, for instance, that white colors tend to be more "pure" than dark ones?  Looking at color differently is much more challenging than flipping a map.
I don't think that either, Kevin, as i stated. I was bridging a thought from the post. Just musing on things. 
Thanks a lot for this information, i've been looking for this since a long time ago... so north means down!
+Hamilton Kulchetscki not strictly true. Aliens would be able to detect our magnetic field and the earths rotation and determine where our northern and southern poles are.
Perception is the key.  Where I live in North America we're taught to view the world the other way, but my father was raised in Argentina and that half of the world shares Australia's "view" such as above.  Love the map.
I always thought this was an "Australian" map. Saw one in a Sydney gift shop and it gave me a chuckle.
I think it's important to look at our world in different ways. Literally. We North American's and I suspect European's are spoiled to have the vast, vast, vast majority of projection maps make these land masses front and center. South America and Africa are "down there" which may or may not lead to an assumed inferiority. So bravo for posting this +Farran Lee .
Good to see a 'right' o 'truthful' (i.e. a less Western Civilization-centric) representation of our globe
Wow, everything is based upon the plane set by our perception of north! This would really do terrible disorienting things to charts depicting our interstellar/intergalactic/housing neighbourhood, too.
this will come in handy when the earth flips poles. will toilets flush counter clockwise in N. hemisphere?
"Modern society (and generally whoever created the map) has always made the Northern Hemisphere more important over the rest of the world."

How does what is on the top or bottom make it "more important"? You have to standardize on something, and given the rotation of the Earth you have but two real choices for a two dimensional map. Should they have flipped it out of Northerner's Guilt?

"The previous accepted version, the Mercator Projection, placed the equator 2/3s down the map, elongating the north greatly. Larger landmass creates the illusion of being greater."

The equator bit is just weird and wrong, however yes with the Mercator projection the landmasses near the poles are exaggerated. This isn't to imply importance, however conspiratorial that might be, but for navigation which was the sole reason the projection was created in the first place: the Mercator projection lets you draw straight lines of navigation accurately. Kind of a critical reason, don't you think?
C.J.: Wait, where else could you put the Northern Hemisphere than on the top?
Dr. Sales: On the bottom
C.J.: How?
Dr. Fallow: Like this
C.J.: Yeah, but you can't do that.
Dr. Fallow: Why not?
C.J.: 'Cause it's freakin' me out!
West Wing - Why are we changing maps?
I am freaked out just like C.J. Cregg.
Are you telling me you've never flipped a map around as a kid to try to look at the world in a different light?  Big deal.  If you really want to make a point, why do you continue to use the conventions of the equator and the prime meridian?  Or maybe you should consider labeling and putting boundaries on the water instead of the land mass (The globe looks really cool if you can visually flip your concepts of land and water).

Sorry, but the argument of "superiority" is contrived.  People create conventions so that there is a common context to communicate ideas.  Sometimes they are objectively arbitrary.  For example, Benjamin Franklin arbitrarily chose to assign a "negative" charge to the electron, and the fallout of that convention is that current actually moves in the opposite direction of electron flow.  Should we force everyone to reassign the charges of electrons and protons to make the model more intuitive?  It's probably more trouble than it's worth.

Whatever the case, let's not project some contrived hidden agenda in the conventions people choose, especially devoid of any historical context.

In the case of maps, they have historically been closely associated with astronomy, so you could determine where you were on the map.  You might consider reading the book Longitude, which talks about the problem people had in determining where they were on the globe.

As to why the "northern" hemisphere is on top, it makes sense that maps should be oriented in reference to the equator (an astronomically important and verifiable point of reference), and people chose to view the hemisphere they resided on as above the equator.  Was this to denote superiority?  If they were to have chosen to put themselves below the equator, would we necessarily think this to be a sign of a societal inferiority complex?  This is way too much of a stretch for me to swallow.

As to why land masses are stretched, it's because of the fact of projecting from a curved 3D space onto a 2D plane.  People kept with the convention of centering the map about the equator and the prime meridian.  Were they trying to brag about the superiority of western civilization?  Please ...

I don't object to trying to look at the world in different ways, or trying to shift paradigms, but I do object to the speculative presumptions people make on the outlooks of our predecessors.

Does the distortion of landmass and orientation of "north" at the top of a map lend to discrimination, close-mindedness, and cultural bigotry?  I guess conceivably it could.  But if that is true, then it is no worse than anything else.  Was it a premeditated vehicle meant to further political ideologies?  If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you ...  Keep in mind that they did have globes back then ...

I think rather than politicizing the issue, and making some rather judgmental assumptions about people who cannot defend themselves, a more healthy and educational approach would be to discuss surface distortion when mapping from 3D to 2D surfaces, and the problems map makers were trying to solve when coming up with their designs.

The Hobo-Dyer map may be an interesting way to look at the world, and get a better sense of the proportion of landmass, but as a "map" it's awful because it makes it much more difficult for me to use.  And I think you'd have to admit, a good old fashioned globe does a lot more good to clear up land mass distortions, without the political baggage.
N Smith
Where is the UK??? It's not there :L
yup +Todd Woodward 
nothing wrong with the map. we should teach ourselves to look at the world from a different prespective.
Sorry, but I'm not going to let you accuse me of "continentalism" on top of racism, bigotry, and every other dirty word that gets thrown at the West (or North now, I guess). That's enough beating up on Northern hemisphere countries... we don't view anyone else as inferior.
No, +Tim Groeneveld. Flipping poles is a magnetic event. The direction of flushing toilets happens due to the direction of the Earth's rotation, which will not change during that event.
NO matter what happen world map is a world map,even diffrent in views.dont waste time in arguments,chill out relax! Good day 2 all
as soon as the fighting for the map was over, ppl just turned it upside down and started all over.. thats perhaps perspective..
Todd P
Very nice. What's important to realise -- and I think this was implied -- is that a single map simply cannot represent shapes and relative areas correctly and simultaneously. The Mercator gets the shapes right, but Iceland and Russia look quite large (maybe the placement of the equator affects this more). Nat Geo uses the Winkel Tripel, which is a nice compromise projection, but this Hobo-Dryer map is really cool.
The continental US looks rather rodent-like with south up.
+Thomas Lechner The post is more about the perception of this map from the POV of the viewer, as opposed to some 'OMG the conspiracy' post. Regardless of whether the original intentions were based on superiority or navigation
Having a distorted world view creates false perceptions of landmass therefore resources and therefore importance.

Ship captains should be using the Mercator map but schools and educational should really use a more accurate landmass projection.
No amount Mercator Projection is going to solve an ignorant humanity...Buckminster Fuller...been there, done that
Just use a globe instead of obsessing over projections.
On the interesting subject of North and South. The reason North was named as such was that the north pole of a magnet used in a compass aimed that direction. Meaning that the North Pole of Earth has a south polarity.

On the subject of where a map is oriented, it is less a subject of superiority than relevance. And I am glad Google maps centers my map where I am located, to be relevant to me, and not on the other side of the world to ensure that I do not feel or act superior.
It makes Canada look smaller than the USA, which is not the case. (And probably others, but I live in Canada so I tended to notice that data point). The problem is that the earth is NOT flat, so displaying it on a flat surface WILL create distortion. But that's what this article is about, isn't it!
Well yes, it's about the distortion and what type of distortion to chose. The fact is, distortion is distortion, as long as you understand what you're looking at it shouldn't matter that it's distorted. If you want to see it how it is I reiterate my last point - use a globe!
Turning the map around has nothing to do with "more accurate".  I'm guessing this was done merely to make it "more different" :P
"I am glad Google maps centers my map where I am located, to be relevant to me, and not on the other side of the world to ensure that I do not feel or act superior." ROFLMAO!!!! You CAN act superior even if you are located in the right place.....TOO many people do!!! LOL!
No, the point of this article is, "See what you took for granted and thought you knew? Well, ha ha, it's not!" At least that is the point of the graphic. Just look at the word North. That points it out nicely....
Learning, and teaching depend on your point of view.
North is merely a word.  And if someone didn't already realize that up and down is all relative, they won't care because of a map.  They'll just use whatever they are told to. Direction is all relative.  People need to read more Ender's Game.  lol
I've thought of 2 other ways to map the world:

1. a disk-shaped representation with the North Pole in the center, similar to the UN flag (, but mantaining the relative surface areas of the land and ocean masses. 
The UN emblem corresponds to an azimuthal equidistant projection ( which isn't an equal-area projection ( In contrast, I suggest a Lambert azimuthal equal area projection centered in the North Pole (, rather than in a point of the equator unlike it has been depicted in Wikipedia. 

2. projecting the geography of the globe on the surface of a polyhedron (e.g., a truncated icosahedron) and then unfolding the faces on a flat map.

Picture of an unfolded truncated icosahedron:

This projection slightly alters the relative surface area and distances between the periphery and the center of each face. But since the faces are homogeneously distributed all around the globe, the distorsion wouldn't generate large areas overdimensioned and underdimensioned.
This representation corresponds to a Snyder’s equal-area polyhedral projection used for geodesic grids ( but unfolded.

As in the case of the disk-shaped representation, I place the North Pole in the center the projection once the polyhedral projection is unfolded on a flat surface. For several reasons:

1. Most of the emerged land masses are located around the North Pole.

2. Most of the world population live around the North Pole.

3. None of the populated areas in the Northern hemisphere is particularly priviledged over the rest. Even the areas in the Southern hemisphere aren't so marginalized since the relief of the periphery on a disk-shaped representation is easily more distinguishable than the center.

4. The most distorted area is the Antarctic (specially in the disk-shaped representation) what isn't a big issue since there's no permanent human population in that area.

To conclude:

- 1 is a better representation than 2 to easily pinpoint the relative position of points when there's a long distance between them.

- 2 is a better representation than 1 at the local level, since the distorsion in the relative distances and surface areas represented in the same face is moderate. 

- As in the case of the circular projection, there's no distorsion of the relative surface areas between large areas. 

- In contrast, in both cases there's some distorsion between distances at the large scale, which is more important between the peripheral points in the disk-shaped representation.

Related information:
5. ________________ 
Maps are fascinating - I used to have a "Great Circle" projection world map on my wall. Have to dig it out...! :-)
This map is for kids... our mind is already hard printed ...
for a real party, check out the Dymaxion Map Projection. for non-geographers, a Projection is any method of converting the 3D earth to a 2D page. Every projection will distort Shape, Area, Distance, and Direction to some extent. Dymaxion attempts to preserve shape and area, while grossly distorting direction:
In order to offset my rather long-winded post earlier, I invite you all to enjoy this comic from xkcd, which I think adds a bit of levity (and maybe even insight :D) to the discussion:

What your favorite map projection says about you:
Everything I knew to be good and true was just shattered.
+emeline renz and who designed that map...say it...say it!

I Love Ubuntuuuuuuuuuu! - Bucky Too Panda
+Jonathan Clark Equal-Area Cylindric or Conical projections are generally only appropriate in localized, small-scale renditions. To show the whole world using this projection tends to distort it's intent. But it is an interesting one!
I live in vietnam
I don't get it. To slow I guess. Doesn't change my view of global society at all. There are still evil people, despots, dictators, mass murderers, scumbags, etc. And that's just the UN. Polar North is still Polar North, and Polar South is still Polar South. 

Though I kinda like it. The US and Canada look like a turtle where the U.S. is the shell protecting the turtle. Australia kinda looks like a puppy to me. South America looks like a turkey leg. Africa appears to be giving the world the finger....
Is it really bias, or is it technological advancement? Who made maps first? Chinese, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians...where are the scientific advancements which supported map making, from Africa, Meso Americans or the Pacific cultures? Science and logic are precedents for map making.
As winners get to write history, so do scientifically literate societies get to make maps.
Interesting read. Might need to digest it before making any proper comment.
+Sam Bryan <- What he said.  This is why we have globes.  But I guess they are biased against paper!
Thanks a lot, Farran. I did not know North had originally meant Down!
  When I was a kid, I asked my school teachers why are all maps drawn with North side up? "It's just a convention" - was the routine answer. But why was this convention followed by everyone? Why are we always taught to hold even the globe with its North pole up? "You'll understand when you grow up!" was the answer, that blocked all further questions.
 Years later, I stumbled upon some maps from ancient India, Persia (Iran) and Arabia, and I was thrilled to see maps with anEast up, Southwest up, South up, .... with precise reference points. That was very natural, common-sensical and indicated that OUR convention was not universal, nor eternal. Much later, I discovered the political implications of putting the North up - so that Europeans would set sail "down South" (although literally, in German, it was just the reverse).
  After correcting the convention by printing the "upside down" maps (although it does not make a difference in real geo-reference points), I think school kids should be taught to hold the globe the right way. There is no universal UPside, so North Pole should not be held up all the time. Rather, if you look at the Earth's photo taken from the moon, you will find north Africa to be on top. Students should be encouraged to understand the meaningless of Up and Down in the cosmic space.
  In spite of the generally poor knowledge of world geography among most US kids, I was delighted to find a huge "upside-down" world map in a high school in Phoenix, AZ. Students were confidently pointing out the rivers and cities on that map. I tried to find an equivalent scene in India, but never came across one - till now. I would love to take a print-out of this map posted here.
+Farran Lee I think what your trying to say is that there is a bias toward the Colonial Powers in defining the world.  See J. Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel
North can mean down as much as up depending upon the language you use. I suppose it can also be related to night or even under the sun or left of the rising sun, etc.. Either way, it's still interesting and I, like +Lily Alice , thought it was all based on magnetic fields.
I think the post: Farnsworth caused Plate Tectonics is relevant here...the bottom line...don't trust anyone over 3.0 x 10^3!
Sure! Also must read: 1. The Columbian Exchange, by Alfred Crosby; 2. Culture and Imperialism, by Edward Said; 3. Colonialism to Globalisation: Five Centuries After Vasco da Gama, by Walter Fernandes & Anupam Dutta.
The most common maps are oriented to shift your focus to the centre, where Europe is typically places, and then the USA is the largest centre-left object. Since most cultures/language groups read left-to-right, we notice the US and then Western Europe first.

This map perception by making the Pacific Ocean the centre, and Brazil the centre-left. It create a very different picture of the word.
That isss an amazing findingsss. I like the reality.
In danish we say `ned`meaning down. The word `Nord' in
Danish means north. A conflict in language... danish and
Deuschte.are very similar language. That confuses a bit.
I like the fact that the landmasses are more to scale, but I think the rest is over-analyzed. Which countries are at the "top" of the map don't really affect how I view the rest of the world. Especially considering there isn't a cosmological "Up". It is just a result of subjective navigation standards. Being happy about an "upside down" map because now the "down" countries get to feel special is ludicrous and simply places you on the opposite side of the same coin that shouldn't exist.
belive half of what you see, and none of what you hear.
Awesome,I still believe the axis shifted,and global warming upon us causing the molten shelfing from billions of yrs.ago2shift&buckle...
umm... this makes no sense to me. isnt north america in the northern hemisphere? and if north is actually dwn, then when did people start portray it as up?
In terms of usability this map sure squishes the countries together.  At least we can see the Pacific Ocean well. ;)
Interesting, thanks for sharing.
Cool. Australia centric map of the World. There is always more then one point of view!
All maps distort something. The UTM (mercator) was widely used for navigational purposes, not to distort perception nor to suggest superiority. This sort of pseudo intellectualism is the problem in education, not which map projection is used. (For that matter, even in my public high school we actually used several different map projections, so you can't make such a spurious claim's a blatent fabrication).
i completely agree with James Downs, there isnt some evil plan to make all countries in the southern regions feel bad. the only reason map-makers put the northern regions on the top is because of the magnetic field structure. i feel bad for any1 that needs to LITERALLY turn the world all the way around to feel better about where they come from. i envite any1 to challenge my claim and state there reasoning for why, after thousands of years of reasoning, why we should suddenly throw that out and choose to just forget scientific fact.
africa looks like somone sticking the'yr middle finger up 
if u get my drift
Another reason the northern hemisphere is traditionally on top...look how much more land exists north of the equator! 
The northern hemisphere ((i.e North America, Europe, most of Asia and Africa, etc.) contains most of the Earth's land and over 90% of the human population. Thus, in most cases, it'll always be practical to have maps focus on the northern hemisphere and even skew it, if for nothing more than limitations in screen (or formerly paper) real estate when trying to see detailed versions of the parts relevant to 90% of the population's practical use.
I say this as a left-handed guy who's used to the drawbacks of having opposite conditions to 90% of the world. I would NOT expect the right-handed 90% of the population to change everything to accomodate the left-handed 10%. I understand that there's good reasoning behind things being as they are.

Same goes for traditional maps.

Also, I think the Aussie's like being from "down under". :)
So technically I'd be in south America? Or did the person who created the maps I'm familiar with already take into account the original meaning of north?
So, now, we must be aware of different continents' personal feelings.

Okie doke!
If you represent in this map the population density, you'll easily realize why this is not the usual depiction. Even further, if you represent all the locations in which maps have been designed and printed along history, the difference will be still stronger.
On the other hand, this map would be the perfect orientation for Pacific whales, white sharks and Polynesians.
All this controversy will end by the time we can easily handle 3D representations of the world. 3D vision glasses with built-in screen would be of great help for this purpose.
Some tears ago (around 2006) I was looking for a map like this. I knew they were relatively common in the Australian schools but I failed to find any of them, that's why the first thing I've done has been downloading this map.
Rotate the map was an idea from Chile about 5 years ago because always we feel that we are at end of the world. In fact, it was an idea to apply in the school books...
+Tomás John, it's much older than that. I had already heard in 2005 or 2006 that such kind of maps were or had been common in the schools of Australia.
This is really interesting, good find.
Down is actually IN (toward the center of the earth) and Up is actually OUT (away from the center of the earth).  I could go on, if anyone is interested ...   ;-b
this is really intriguing 
ancient maps were oriented east (to the orient)
Check out planar projections the world as viewed from the poles gets very strange.

Most countries can't even agree on what Datum (model of the earths geoid) to use. Did you know that every state in the US has it's own specific mapping projections for just that state?

In response to those talking about maps being weighted to the northern hemisphere, it is because the larger well developed countries that colonized the world made all the maps and I doing so set the "standard"
+Dee Fobez That's because the other continents have it rough.  Always crashing into each other and such.
They need to fix the new iPad app so I can see what I'm typing
There's also the Dymaxion Map projection invented by R. Buckminster Fuller. It projects the globe onto a regular icosahedron which may then be unfolded into a flat shape with much less distortion then typical rectangular projections. It does away completely with the up/down north/south concepts and also has the advantage that the triangles may be rearranged as desired to re-orient the presentation of countries.

There's an amusing anecdote in one of Fuller's books describing a meeting where he presented his Dymaxion map to representatives of various countries, I think at the UN. In each case, the map he showed them had been oriented to place their country at the center. Not surprisingly they all favored his map over traditional projections.
I thought the map was as it is cos North is North and South is South... 
Man, now I feel like everything they teach us in school is warped. I seriously NEVER knew this! That is really cool though. Too bad there's the gravitational pull otherwise the blood would so be rushing to my head(and we would float away and slam into another planet , oh and there's that whole oxygen thingy..., but whatever.)
OR maybe the rest of the universe is upside down and we're perfect!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Funny. I recall South America looking much bigger when studying geography in South was quite interesting to open a geography book in North America and see how South America seemed much smaller...I guess we've always emphasized the area where we live....but then google earth came along....
The south (hemisphere) has risen! Lol. Yeah I said it.
Yea!  Another poly-sci major with no knowledge of mapping is telling us mercator projections are wrong because euro-asians  (whitey) are vain, I've heard this song before.  Most world maps are draw on a mercator projection which are only accurate in the north-south directions, the only accurate east-west representations are along the equator.  On a mercator projection maps by the time you get to ten degrees north or south latitude depending on the scale and area covered your distance between landmarks could be kilometers off. 
Loving how new Zealand is top and centre. It's because we're culturally superior. 
The way it should be, New Zealand at the top of the World
法仁李: You are What's Hot!!  :D
Non-issue. You choose a projection to make your map display something useful. I would not expect a Kiwi to use the Texas Statewide Mapping System projection to show their country most accurately.

When I am using my compass to navigate, I rotate my topo map to line it up with the compass. I don't care which way the text goes. The top is where I put it.

With digital mapping this is even less of an issue. The toolbox available to cartographers of ye olde days was more limited and time consuming to change. Now, a couple of clicks and I can change presets. A few more and I can create a customized projection for a specific place.

I tend to want to be able to measure distances across small areas on my maps, so UTM is my go-to projection. A different cartographer may have different goals and use a different projection. Whoopee.
Thanks for sharing.Improve
our knowledge because of u.
I like the map, but anyone with a semblance of a college education should know all of this. Even this depiction of our planet is not perfect, nor are most modern globes.
This stuff is very interesting, I think the Peter projection is similar but more well known:
@Jack Espuelas:  I think the "magnetic polarity determined our map's directionality" argument is spurious. Two obvious questions arise: (1) Does the magnet have only the North Pole? (2) Does the magnetic north pole point UPwards? Taken together, your hypothesis begs the question: Why do you not draw the world map with the magnetic SOUTH POLE up? You cannot deny there was a bias, and the bias was perpetuated in all European maps, - a bias that was apparently absent in maps of ancient Persia, China and India. (e.g. "Maps and Charts of Early India", by Irfan Habib).
 The Euro-centric bias for the North-Up was in the beginning of the cartographic convention (from Piri Reis and Ribeiro of 1500s), so Asia and Africa (Australia and Antarctica were not yet "discovered") were "down there". The convention has been accepted because of the spread of western colonies and technology to all countries. (It does not matter if YOU are not thinking that way today, no matter if you are anti-racist, no matter if you live in Australia or South Africa.)
  Denial or rationalization of the bias does not do away with the bias. Rather, it will be enlightening to explore the origin of this bias is a scientific question. However,  projection maps are projections for specific technical purposes - no political misreading is warranted there. (Mercator projection was specifically devised to facilitate navigation.)
 But to ignore the political connotations of an accepted scientific "fact" often leads to utterly dangerous non-sense. Recall how the "scientific fact" of "Aryan" race was employed in Nazi poliics! Recall how many people (including Darwin himself) believed that the Negroes are phylogenetically closer to the great Apes! And recall how many "scientific" analyses of IQ of races have been published! And how many people believed in the "scientific" evidence of biological/genetic basis of race - until Richard Lewontin's seminal paper discredited all of them! This is not to say that anyone who drew the world map with North up wanted to state racial supremacy, but the originators of the European map convention did imply a political supremacy of the North. To deny that is to ignore an important history of science, and to evade a scientific question of "why this convention?" Magnetic polarity is certainly not the answer.
Debal deb you do make some interesting points and after hearing your theory I do admit there is a possibility that the self-centered kings and queens of Europe may have played a role in the construction of some ancient maps, but I also think that most maps are made with Europe and north America on top because a compass provides a point to which you can find other points by useing a compass by knowing which location is in the direction of north. And the main reason this is, is because almost everywhere on earth you are you can always use a compass to point north(not south, it's points north) so once you understand that with a compass you can easily find the location of something relative to any other location, it only logically makes sence to put location closer to the north higher on the map and put places farther away from north lower on the map.
I think no matter Wat I say your ideas on this topic will never change and mine will never change, we will both find holes in each others explanations(similar to an atheist trying to convinces and theist god doesn't exists and vis versa)so why don't we just agree that neither explanation is a 100% solid and leave it at that. 
+Debal Deb The magnetic polarity did not in fact determine the directionality of the map. It is a fact that the North Pole is of magnetic south polarity, as the north pole of a magnet points to the North Pole. Thus creating an amusing misnomer. And while I agree that you and +Jack Espuelas will probably never agree on the map, it is safe to state that you both argue logically, exceptionally well, and exceedingly politely. Additionally, I would like to point out, ignoring the world map for a minute, that the the origin of maps was to display what was of relevant importance. Therefore, the maps of India, did not center on Japan, those of Imperial Japan, did not center on Eqypt, but displayed what was of importance to those that purchased and used them. Map making was a business. And while maps need to be oriented to be of use, a north-south line in the upper latitudes (Europe) is much more stable than the transition of the sun from east to west. Also, being a business you should ask, how many people would purchase a 15th century Venetian map of Europe (or the known world) if it was centered on the equator, and the Rose Line of Paris. Not many. Or how useful would a map of the Turkish Empire be if it was centered on equatorial Indonesia. Not very. Every Empire, European, Roman, Muslim, Turkish, and Chinese, brought with them their conventions...including their maps. Europe just took over more space than the Chinese, Turkish, or Muslims, thus their maps became convention. Now, in modern times would make sense to center a map based on population density and an intuitive axis system. North/South and East/West is extremely intuitive. The only decision would be top and bottom. However, map making is still a business, so you will find that maps are centered based on monetary density not population density. Move the money and you will find the center of map starts to shift. But does it matter? My smart phone centers the map on me, no matter where I am. When I was in Turkey, that was the center of the world. Now it is only map clarity that is based on monetary density.
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