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Old 12-01-2013, 12:59 AM
 
Location: Stockholm
990 posts, read 1,943,418 times
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When looking at world maps, like Google Maps etc, Sweden looks enormous, it looks like it is about as large as France and Spain combined, while infact it is just slightly larger than California, and smaller than Spain alone. Does it look that way because its closer to the Arctic than those other countries, a mapmaking illusion? If you cut out Sweden on a world map and paste it on California, it will also cover Washington and Oregon, while it is infact just slightly larger than California. Similarly, Norway and Finland also looks alot larger than they really are. Also Greenland looks like it's bigger than Australia.

Sweden is the 5th largest country in Europe (3rd in the EU), and would be the 3rd largest state if it was in the US which makes it pretty big, but looks alot larger than that.

Last edited by Helsingborgaren; 12-01-2013 at 01:16 AM..
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Old 12-01-2013, 01:09 AM
 
Location: The Downunderverse
598 posts, read 955,660 times
Reputation: 518
I saw a youtube video that explains why this happens the other day, here it is.


What Does Earth Look Like? - YouTube
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Old 12-01-2013, 03:06 AM
 
Location: Leeds, UK
22,112 posts, read 29,573,026 times
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Because Google maps are flat and do not take the Earth's spherical shape into account, so it makes places like Sweden and Greenland look huge, ditto for Canada (which is already big, but looks much bigger on Google maps).



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Old 12-01-2013, 03:39 AM
 
2,223 posts, read 5,485,298 times
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How do people always think of these kind of questions ? Sweden is a large European country. And it's long, not that wide. Just hardly any people there.
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Old 12-01-2013, 04:10 AM
 
Location: In the heights
37,127 posts, read 39,349,217 times
Reputation: 21212
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glucorious View Post
How do people always think of these kind of questions ? Sweden is a large European country. And it's long, not that wide. Just hardly any people there.
Which country in that map looks larger to you: Sweden or Spain? If you picked Sweden, then good because Spain is actually the larger country and it's that discrepancy that he's asking about. It's basically projecting a 3D sphere on to 2D representations. It's interesting to know how that works.
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Old 12-01-2013, 06:42 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
9,556 posts, read 20,788,592 times
Reputation: 2833
Mercator's projection. Obviously, if you try to represent the surface of a sphere as a flat rectangle sizes/distances will get distorted, increasingly so as you get to the poles. That's why in some maps Greenland is almost as big as Africa even if it's barely 1/18 the size.
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Old 12-01-2013, 06:43 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
9,556 posts, read 20,788,592 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glucorious View Post
How do people always think of these kind of questions ? Sweden is a large European country. And it's long, not that wide. Just hardly any people there.
I hope you do realise what we're all saying though.
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Old 12-01-2013, 06:55 AM
 
Location: Finland
24,128 posts, read 24,795,425 times
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It's called the Mercator projection. I makes the latitudes and longitudes into straight squares, nullifying the spherical effect of the Earth, so it was easier to navigate on.
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Old 12-01-2013, 12:24 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
102,188 posts, read 107,809,412 times
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It depends on the map's projection. Some exaggerate the northern latitudes, others minimize them. Sweden looks like a speck on some maps.
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Old 12-01-2013, 03:43 PM
 
Location: Paris
8,159 posts, read 8,728,455 times
Reputation: 3547
Ellesmere Island, in the Canadian Arctic (smaller than Romania) vs Southeast Asia on Google Maps:
http://imageshack.com/a/img163/7219/pzyz.jpg
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