Most of our readers are from the United States, so I'm going to use that as the first comparison. Africa is three times larger than the United States. And yes, I'm including Alaska in that!
So, we need to be telling people that we are specifically visiting Namibia and South Africa. (We've pretty much crossed Botswana off the list for this trip because there's simply too much to see and do in the other two countries.) How big is the country of South Africa? Well, it's about twice the size of the state of Texas!
What got me talking about this today? Well, I saw a projection of just how big Africa is, and the fact that it's not accurate on most maps.
Everyone would agree that this is your typical map of the world...
And in fact this map is so typical, that it's the one used by Google.
So, what's wrong with this map?
Apparently lots. And a better question is, why is most of the world using a map that's not accurate?
The most glaring example of what's wrong with this map is comparing the sizes of Africa and Greenland. Greenland of course, is that huge blob of ice near the top left of center. It looks about the same size as Africa, no? But in reality, Africa is fourteen times larger than Greenland!
Notice on the map above that the equator (the geographical center line around the earth) is not in the center. The map unrealistically highlights the size of northern half of the world to make everything north of the equator appear larger than it really is.
There are actually very few world maps available that are geographically accurate. I thought the idea of a map was specifically to be accurate!
Let's have a look at what the world REALLY looks like...
A geographically accurate map of the world.
So, just how big is Africa?
Well, you can fit the United States, China, and all of Europe into Africa! And with room to spare so you had better throw India, Japan, and the United Kingdom in there to take up the rest of the space!
Africa is a huge area of land!
Reader "catman" suggests that a world map called the Robinson Projection map is possibly the most geographically correct...