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August 07, 2011


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Ever been to Outback? They feature an "upside down map". First time I saw it, it made me think how much we get a mindset on our view of the world.


Interesting! While I have been to "the Outback" in Australia, I have never been to an Outback Steak House. One imagines this is a much more top-of-mind issue in Oz than it is in the US. ;-)

Katherine Walcott


The make a good point about the North star.


Apparently the "pumped up on steroids" bit is because flat maps are actually all kinds of distorted (which is a big "duh" if you think about it...), but we almost always see flat maps, so we think what we see is what it actually is. The globes are, theoretically, MUCH closer to what our astronauts saw. (pause for pouting for past tense...)


The upside down globe (it makes no difference when the planet is seen from space??) still makes my brain hurt. At age almost-47, I really had no idea that north was arbitrary. Perhaps I should be ashamed to admit it, but I am too astonished to be embarrassed.


Interesting perspective.


Well, if you think about it some more, even choosing from only north or south is only because there's a whole lotta "wasteland" that we don't much care about in those directions. If we still didn't know anything about, say, Asia, and thus it was a whole lotta "wasteland," maybe all of our globes and maps would be oriented with east up. Which really, doesn't THAT make the most sense? It is, after all, where the sun comes from AND it is what the word "orient" means, for goodness sake!

(don't be too upset - I visited NZ and Australia when I was 14, which is where I shed my north-is-the-only-way-up ideas. Take your kids to Oz now and they won't have to have these sorts of revelations at almost-47. They can other brain-bending and ego-bruising revelations instead. :) )

Katherine Walcott

East up is actually old school - very. Medieval maps had Jerusalem at the center & east on top. (Yes, my mind is filled with useless fluff. I play Trivial Pursuit for keeps.) Makes sense in days before axial rotation. I believe some folks knew the globe bit but immutable center of the universe was a fixed belief. [:)]

Debbie Hanson

Ya' know....until this post, I had never, ever thought about where a map was split. And I do NOT like the upside-down map....gives me vertigo.

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