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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get a globe with a Peters Projection?
Can I get an Upside Down Peters map?
What is the difference between the Peters and the Hobo-Dyer?

Can I get a JPG File of the Peters Map? Or a screen saver?
What is the best way to find a map publisher?
We’d like to have a donation for our school. Is there any way we can get a map for free?
On your web page, you mention the Peters Map has "staunch detractors."
How does the Peters Map relate to charts for navigation?
What are the rules for the Peters projection?
Are Peters map TRANSPARENCIES available?
Where can I get Black and White outline maps for testing students in the classroom?
Is there a way I can get a Peters Map in Europe?
Is Canada really that small as it appears on a Peters map?
How can I make an oversized print of a McArthur map?
How does the Peters compare to the NGS Winkel Tripel?
When they talk about equal area maps, how is area calculated?
What is the EQUATORIAL SCALE on the Peters Map?
Why are the MOUNTAINS in METRES?
If I were to dig straight down where would I come out?
Why are map projections essential tools of physical oceanography?
Does the Peters Map show the entire surface of Earth, including the North and South poles?
Was not Reverend Gall the original author of the “Peters projection?”
I look at the Peters map, where is the North Pole?

Is it possible to buy a Goode Homolosine map anymore?
What does ODT stand for?
On the Peters Map, Wales is not named. Why not?
Is there a specific reason why certain latitude lines on the What's Up South Map are left out?
How about a map with EAST on top?

Which WEST WING EPISODE featured the Peters Map?
I am looking for Minard's Map of Napoleon's Russian Campaign of 1812-1813.
Why don’t you sell Buckminster Fuller’s maps?
Why does your Upside-down maps distorts sizes?
Why are some of the countries distorted in the Hobo-Dyer map (i.e., Why is Canada flattened)?
Is there a South-up USA Map?
Where can I buy an Upside Down Globe?

Is there a tactile version of Peters?
Do you know where I can get an editable version of the Peters map in PowerPoint format?

I heard there was once a Peters map of Africa.

1. Can I get a globe with a Peters Projection?
aANSWER: The globe is accurate in terms of size, shape and lines of constant compass bearing. The problems arises when you move from a round globe to a flat surface. Something has to give. The Mercator loses sizes to achieve constant compass bearing. The Peters loses compass bearings to achieve sizes (and proportions). Every flat map projection represents certain trade-offs. There is no such thing as a globe with a Peters Projection. Visit  for more info.

2. Can I get an Upside Down Peters map?
aANSWER: The Upside Down Peters world map shown on WEST WING is not commercially available. The folks at Warner Brothers created a special version just for the show. We do stock other versions of the Upside Down map:

  • One type is a Van der Grinten Projection. (not equal area)
  • Another is the McArthur (not equal area), and
  • Hobo-Dyer Projection (equal area like the Peters, both are equal area rectangular cylindrical projections).


3. What is the difference between the Peters and the Hobo-Dyer?
aANSWER: The "standard parallels" for the Peters are at 45 degrees north & south. For the Hobo-Dyer Projection (HDP), they are at 37.5 degrees. What does that mean? Country shapes are better on the HDP (compared to the Peters) between 45 degrees north and south on the HDP. But they are WORSE (compared to the Peters) above and below 45 degrees. Canadians, Russians, Greenlanders & penguins at the South Pole are all SQUISHED and flattened more severely with the HDP.

One version of the Hobo-Dyer Projection map is a placemat size map which has North up on one side and South up on the other. One side is centered on Africa, the other on Australia. See it at  (the laminated version retails for $8.95). The newest Hobo-Dyer Projection map was released June 20th, 2005 and is the closest you can get to the map you saw on West Wing. It is available in paper folded only, is (21" x 33"), and retails for $20.00. Find them all in the web store at

4. Can I get a JPG File of the Peters Map? Or a screen saver?
aANSWER: Dr. Arno Peters passed away in 2003 and he was never quite comfortable with the electronic age. He never even had e-mail! Therefore, he has always been reluctant to let JPG files of his map be available, and the agents for his estate still generally respect his wishes. We do license the image to teachers and trainers who want to use the image in power point presentations for seminars. Both our DVDs contain Peters Maps in PowerPoint. Currently
a screen saver is not yet available.

5. What is the best way to find a map publisher?
aANSWER: We have a map trade publishing association: for information about the International Map Trade Association see

6. We’d like to have a donation for our school. Is there any way we can get a map for free?
aANSWER: Unfortunately, we cannot provide free maps. However, we always have stock that is not perfect and not able to be sold through our regular retailers. Put together a wish list from our web site and tell us what your budget is. The we’ll scour the office for “seconds” and let you know what we can do for you within your budget.

7. On your web page, you mention the Peters Map has "staunch detractors". For completeness’ sake, it would be good to have a page on your site summarizing the arguments of the detractors. You do mention some of the factors leading to the projection being a curiosity in the USA on page9.html, but I wonder if you'd think it worth giving over a page to argue the Mercator case? I know I come away from the site wondering what exactly the Mercator people have to say to defend what seems to me an idiosyncratic view of the world.
aANSWER: This topic is covered at length in our book , SEEING THROUGH MAPS, at and our new DVD, Arno Peters: Radical Map, Remarkable Man at

8. How does the Peters Map relate to charts for navigation? It would appear that the GPS coordinates used in most navigation programs might be distorted to fit the differing shapes of the land masses. Are all the electronic navigation programs distorted to accommodate both the Mercator view of the planet and the actual shape of the land masses? Tell me more.
aANSWER: Thanks for your interest. Since your questions are somewhat complex I don't think we -- either you or I -- would be satisfied with simplified answers such as could be included in normal e-mail.

May I recommend, therefore, that you consult the book The New Cartography, by Arno Peters ISBN 0-377-00147-3. It contains a section on the mathematical formulation of the Peters map as well as a discussion of Peters' reformulation of the graticule, and its results. I do not so much claim that it will answer all your questions as to suggest that it will do as good a job as anything I know at present. The book itself is out of print in English (available in German if you can handle that) but is available in quite a number of libraries. Good luck, and with appreciation of your interest. From Ward Kaiser

9: A follow up question: At first glance the question is: How does this representation relate to accepted coordinates and distances? If the total size of the continent is correct, why isn't it further from Monrovia in Liberia to Capetown than GPS coordinates based on Mercator's projection would show? Why don't observations and photographs from our space travels show this difference? Peter maps are distorted, enlarged or reduced, to illustrate relative size. What are the rules for this projection? What's the relationship to other equal area projections such as Azimuthal Equal-Area projections or the Equal Area Conic projections used in the Great Lakes? Do the coordinates developed by Mercator still apply or are they also distorted to accommodate the area difference?
aANSWER: (from Terry Hardaker the Peters Map Official Cartographer)
Oxford Cartographers are the UK agents for the Peters map and also responsible for the cartography. The projection was designed by Professor Arno Peters in Germany. As you will know, the lines of longitude on the globe are not parallel but close to a point at the poles. Peters has opened these up to make them parallel lines. If the lines of latitude were kept as on the globe (i.e. equally spaced) then area scale would increase polewards. To compensate and return the map to equal area status Peters has taken a "standard parallel" at 45 degrees north and south and progressively shrunk latitude towards the poles, while stretching it towards the equator. However, this distorts the shape. Only at 45 degrees is the shape correct. Thus the answer to your question is that although the total area of any country is correct in relation to any other, the shape of each is not correct. It is either squashed or elongated, and as such east-west distance scale differs from north-south distance scale, and varies according to latitude.

As to the relation to other equal area projections, each projection is constructed on a different set of rules, so you would need to get a book on map projections to understand the differences. In the case of Mercator, although the parallels are also made into straight lines instead of meeting at the poles, latitude increases progressively away from the equator so that shape and direction are preserved but the scale becomes wildly exaggerated beyond 60 degrees.

Refer to ODT’s book "A New View of the World" which helps to explain more.

Terry Hardaker
Oxford Cartographers
Oasis Park, Eynsham, Oxford OX29 4TP, UK
Phone (44) (0)1865 882884
Fax (44) (0)1865 882925

10: Are Peters map TRANSPARENCIES available?
aANSWER: For people who need old technology we do have sets of overhead transparencies at and 35mm slides at

Both packages cost $250, with very specific restrictions:

  1. used within your organization only
  2. not for fee-paid/admission charged events
  3. Licensed to the specific location where materials are purchased.

We also have PowerPoints on both our DVDs and if you pay the “professional” rate for the DVD ($89) then you are free to use them subject to the restrictions above.

11: Where can I get Black and White outline maps for testing students in the classroom?
aANSWER: There are free B&W downloadable versions of the Hobo-Dyer and Peters at

See FREE MAPS & MORE! On the left hand toolbar.
For other maps -- see John P. Snyder's Flattening the Earth (U of Chicago, 1997) or his Album of Map Projections (available from US Geological Survey - Professional Paper 1453).

12: Is there a way I can get a Peters Map in Europe?
aANSWER: Contact the New Internationalist ( )
They'll give you a FREE Peters Map with your paid magazine subscription.
(Their map is only 24" x 36" as compared to our 35" x 50" version).
Its a great magazine and a convenient way to get your map.

13: Is Canada really that small as it appears on a Peters map?
aANSWER: from Ward Kaiser:
Your important question has been forwarded to me for reply. As the person who introduced the Peters map to North America and as a Canadian, I am delighted when persons like yourself raise perceptive questions.
The Peters is an equal-area projection, which means that a square cm anywhere on the map represents a constant number of square km. Therefore, given the fact that Canada is bigger in size than the USA, it follows that it must occupy more space on the face of the map. This does not, however, always translate into the impression of more space; the eye can be deceiving. So here's a factual way to check it out: taking a few sheets of graph paper, lay them on the map and carefully trace the outline of Canada, both mainland and northern islands. Add up the number of squares (how precisely you handle the fractions is up to you). Then do the same for the USA. The result may surprise you -- and confirm that, as often as people have expressed the feeling that countries such as Canada look smaller than they expected them to look, they are in fact faithfully and accurately represented. This feeling, then, may reflect our popular mindset, built up over a lifetime, of supposing that Canada -- as well as Russia, say -- is huge! Certainly it is big -- but it does not dominate the way it and Russia seem to do on the familiar Mercator map!
For a fuller interpretation of the Peters map and of maps in general, may I refer you to the titles, A New View of the World and Seeing through Maps, both available from ODT ( ) The latter book's opening chapter can be downloaded at

14. I would like to get a hold of the file of the mc Arthur map, I am located in France and I want to print a giant map like this to decorate my living room.
aANSWER: Previously, enlarging a map to that size required all new cartography. The "generalization" problem required redrawing the coastlines and borders to the new scale. In the past, this kind of project would have cost you at least $2,000 - $2,500 in custom cartography PLUS the cost of printing the map. However, now there is a way to print large maps on a custom basis. Tell me how wide you want your map to be and we can quote a price that will generally be under $500.00.

15: How does the Peters compare to the NGS Winkel Tripel?
aANSWER: The Winkel Tripel is in a class of map projections called "Compromise Projections."
Not true area, compass bearings not straight, but somewhere between a Peters and a Mercator.
More information is available at
Also: our new book will treat this topic in detail -- DOWNLOAD Chapter One for FREE at

aANSWER: Peters maps are available only for the entire world. Regional and/or country Peters maps are only available as part of the Peters Atlas of the World. No country maps on the Peters Projection are available for individual purchase. The Atlas is available on our web site for $19.95 and includes 4 overlapping sections that assemble to make the USA. But the point is….you should not be WANTING a Peters Projection of the USA.

It is not as accurate as a Lambert azimuthal equal area projection or any of a number of other equal area projections. For a continent you can get area accuracy AND some shape accuracy with some equal area projections…but not a Peters. If you need more information about this read SEEING THROUGH MAPS

17. When they talk about equal area maps, how is area calculated?
In a mountainous country with widely varying topography and steeply sloping mountains (like Guatemala), do they figure square miles as the area you'd calculate like you were buying real estate? Or is the mountainous sloping land "projected" down to a flat surface and then figured out as square miles from there?
aANSWER: Answer from Professor Denis Wood
Good question, and one I've often asked. In general, the latter method is used, that is, all altitudes are reduced to sea level (easier to say than do) and that area calculated. So the area of say, mountain surface, that you'd buy is not the measure. BUT this is actually a question of SCALE and it depends on the scale of analysis. The bigger the scale (like 1:2) the more likely they are to use a real estate approach. The smaller the scale (like 1:1000000 (the bigger the area) ) the more likely they are to reduce everything to sea level. This applies as well to issues like the length of a coastline. The closer you are to it, the longer it is.

At stake here is the DIMENSIONAL issue raised by "fractal dimensions," those between dimensions, between say, one and two or two and three, "surfaces" with dimensions like 2.3. A tree, for instance, can't be represented by the two-dimensional area it covers (because it's sort of volumetric), nor by the three-dimensional volume it "fills" (because so little of that volume is actually tree (it's mostly air)). So you have to think about a tree as occupying some dimension between two and three (it's not flat, but it's not solid).

Coastlines aren't lines (not one-dimensional) because they're so sinuous; but neither are they areas (not two dimensional) because they don't fill an area. Their dimension is say 1.2. Mountains aren't areas (so in reality you can't reduce them to sea level to get their area) but they don't fill the volumes they project either (they're not Platonic solids). They're like 2.3 dimensioned.

When this is all finally worked out and made simple enough for people like to to calculate, then we'll have a real answer to the question about the area someplace occupies. Right now we don't.

18. What is the EQUATORIAL SCALE on the Peters Map?
aANSWER: Linear scale on the Peters Map varies according to latitude, because the natural shape of the earth's grid is squashed towards the poles and stretched across the equator on the Peters projection to attain equal area property. The scale will be smallest at the equator and largest at the pole. North-southwards, the scale will be smallest at the pole and largest at the equator. Thus there is no overall scale bar you can draw for the map, because scale is not constant. This is not peculiar to Peters; many map projections have scales that vary, although they will often give an equatorial scale bar. In the case of the Peters Wall Map, the equator is 1.117 metres on the map and 40,0673 Km on the ground which gives a scale of 1:27.88 million.

19. Why are the MOUNTAINS in METRES?
aANSWER: Your question has been passed to the cartographers of the Peters Map. Their reply follows:
"The heights on this map are shown in metres not feet, so your mountain is correctly shown. You may be interested to know that while the USA has opted to use feet, most of the rest of the world uses metres. This map is sold all over the world.

20. ANTIPODES - A friend asked me if I could find out where in the world you would come out if you started digging straight down in Amherst, MA. I used the Peters Map and if I am correct you would come out in the Indian Ocean right near Amsterdam & St. Paul Island. Is this correct or am I simplifying things too much? Maybe one of your Map friends can help me out - I found out latitude & longitude in North & West and just reversed it to South & East. Does this work? It seems too simple.
aANSWER: Your question has been referred half way round the globe to get a definitive answer!
You are not quite right in your calculation. In terms of latitude you got it right because the southern hemisphere is a mirror image of the northern in terms of the numbering of the latitude. So if Amherst is 42.5 degrees north, the antipodal southern latitude will be 42.5 south. However, with the longitude, you have to subtract your own longitude (about 73.5 degrees west) from 180 to get the antipodal position, i.e. 107.5 degrees east. That places you right in the middle of nowhere. Not a good place for a vacation.

Terry Hardaker - Oxford Cartographers

21: Why are map projections essential tools of physical oceanography?
Requires you to go through a quiz…about 8 pages later you get to a very interesting

22. Does the Peters Map show the entire surface of Earth, including the North and South poles?
aANSWER: Any rectilinear map (any map in rectangular form) will show the poles (which are actually a single point) in the distorted form of a line. It is an infinite exaggeration to do so, but that's how the projection formula works. So the answer is "YES...but..."
The Peters maps distorts shapes to get sizes right. Whereas the Mercator distorts areas to achieve lines on constant compass bearings. All choices are trade offs. Read our book: SEEING THROUGH MAPS
GO to:

23. Was not Reverend Gall the original author of the “Peters projection?”
aANSWER: I am sure you will be more comfortable with the information about the map at:  James Gall created a map based on a mathematical formula. His map was one that he himself dismissed, and found unusable. It was never created as a full size map. Arno Peters originally “constructed” his map by stretching and squeezing each rectangle of the graticule. The Peters does resemble Gall’s work, but it was not based on it. Furthermore, once Peters turned the cartography over to Oxford Cartographers to polish it up, it was determined that the standard parallels that each map used were slightly different.

24. I recently purchased a Peters World Map at a local bookstore - I'm quite intrigued by the concept but my question is, as I look at this map, where is the North Pole - please explain? Thanks.
aANSWER: The North pole is a point under the ice. There is no land there. The South Pole is located in the landmass of the continent of Antarctica.

25. Goode Homolosine -- Is it possible to buy that map anymore? I can't seem to find it anywhere.
aANSWER: I don't know....but here's how I'd look.

  1. Search engines with "Goode Homolosine" and "Price"
  2. MapLink catalog on-line (
  3. U of Chicago (they own the copyright to the map), although it may have expired and then this projection becomes public domain. Worth checking. It is also probably part of software packages (pretty pricey, though) like ones form ESRI in Redlands CA.

26. What does ODT stand for?
aANSWER: ODT Associates was founded by Bob Abramms in 1978. In 1987, ODT became an employee-owned sub-chapter S corporation. For more info, go to

27: On the Peters Map, Wales is not named. Why not?
aANSWER: Thank you for your comment on the Peters Map which has been passed to us as the cartographic editors.
Unfortunately on a map of this scale it is not possible to show all the place names, and in crowded areas even important ones are sometimes omitted in order that the map does not become top heavy with names. If you look carefully at the map you will see that the name London is getting in the way of Cardiff. There is a case for omitting Southampton so that London can move down and then Cardiff can be named.

We accepted the selection of names that was made before we took over the map and we have only carried out updates and minor revisions.

I understand that you see the world from a regional point of view whereas we have to look at the whole world and try to reach a balanced view. Perhaps you may take comfort from the fact that there are many other important places in crowded areas that do not get a name, e.g. Monaco, Andorra, Leichtenstein or the Vatican City, all small states in their own right and therefore arguably even more important (to local residents) than Cardiff! Please note that no federal states are named on this map - the US states, the Canadian provinces, the Australian states - and the individual countries that comprise the UK.
Terry Hardaker - Oxford Cartographers

28. On the “What's Up? South!” map, I just noticed that not all of the latitude lines were present. The poles aren't pictured and thus, neither is Antarctica. I was just wondering if there was a specific reason it was left out?
aANSWER: YES. The map is on the Van der Grinten projection. This is a compromise projection…sort of halfway between a Mercator and a Peters projection. The land area (especially on the Mercator) becomes infinite and impossible to represent, the closer you get to the poles. As such the convention (on the Mercator) is typically to leave Antarctica off the map. In the case of the this compromise Van der Grinten projection, we felt it was more important to make the point that the ENTIRE continent was left off, rather than simply show a portion of it. Have you read the explanation that we include with each map? That explains it quite thoroughly. A copy is on the web at

29. How about a map with EAST on top?
aANSWER: I have seen such a map as you envisioned. I saw it at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2001, and I cannot tell you the company who produced it but it was TIME ZONE map (this is one of the only practical applications of such an orientation), and I believe the publisher was a European company. Two suggestions: Google under “TIME ZONE map” or search on the map database at (they are the biggest wholesaler/distributor in North America). Good luck…and if you find it, please email me details of the publisher, stock number and price so I can keep the information for the next person to ask me!

30. Which WEST WING EPISODE featured the Peters Map?
aANSWER: Season two, episode 16, scene 4 and possibly into scene 5.
Here is the info you need from four different sources:
Plus, we have clips in our forthcoming Peters Map documentary.
See the trailer at:

31. I am looking for Minard's Map of Napoleon's Russian Campaign of 1812-1813. I was directed to your company from a UK University.
aANSWER: An English-language translation of Minard’s map can be found as Figure 59 (page 74) of our book, SEEING THROUGH MAPS. The book is available at: 
An electronic version of the map is on our OLD web site at:
WE own these two versions and if you wish to use them, please direct your request to
providing details of how you intend to us the image.
The original French version is available for $14 from

32. Why don’t you sell Buckminster Fuller’s maps?
aANSWER: If you look on our site you'll find we offer stickers of the Buckminster Fuller Dymaxion Map. Those stickers were the start of a joint project with ODT and the Buckminster Fuller did not work out and the image belongs to them. You can try them at

33. Why does your Upside-down maps distorts sizes?
aANSWER: You are commenting on our What's Up? South! map and it is a Van der Grinten projection, a compromise version that still retains much of the proportional distortions of the Mercator. But when Mercator published his map he was honest about his distortion calling his "...a revised view of the world with revisions made for navigation." Our Hobo-Dyer map is an equal area map where relative size and proportion are displayed as accurately as possible. Every world map MUST be distorted somehow to allow for the flat-paper presentation of the round earth. Different maps, different viewpoints...and they are all right and wrong.

34. Why are some of the countries distorted in the Hobo-Dyer map (i.e., Why is Canada flattened)?
aANSWER: Imagine peeling an orange. Hard to lay it down flat and transform it into a flat map...let alone a rectangular flat map. So in order to transform the Earth (a globe) to a rectangular (a plane) you have to select certain trade-offs. If you want shapes correct, then you sacrifice sizes, if you want sizes right, then you sacrifice shapes.
Here's a description from, our old web site:

The Hobo-Dyer Projection (HDP) takes its place among important map projections. This new HDP map belongs to the family of Cylindrical Equal Area projections in which the latitude and longitude lines form a rectangular grid. Other projections in this family include the Lambert, Gall, Behrmann, Edwards and Peters. The HDP retains qualities of the other equal area cylindrical projections, but is more visually satisfying. Commissioned by ODT, Inc., created by British cartographer, Mick Dyer, the map was derived by modifying the 1910 Behrmann projection. Behrmann placed the standard parallels at 30° north and south. On the HDP map, the "cylinder" is assumed to wrap round the globe and cut through it at 37½° north and south. In order to preserve the equal area property the shapes of the landmasses become progressively flattened towards the poles, but shapes between 45° north and south are well preserved.... Due to the unusual proportions of the new map, ODT also printed eight other map projections for comparison purposes on the border of the map. The reverse side of the HDP map shows the exact same projection, but with two somewhat startling changes: south is on top; and Australia is shown in the middle of the map. How does such a simple thing as reversing the poles or changing the "centering" influence your impression of what's important?

35. Is there a South-up USA Map?
aANSWER: The only commercially available map like the one you describe is Lenz's "USA as seen from Canada"
This map is featured in SEEING THROUGH MAPS . And was available as part of a set of maps from:, 111 King Street , Littleton, Massachusetts 01460-1527 U.S.A. Tel: 978-486-9180 They hold the rights to this map, and may have stock left over. Contact about current availability

36. Where can I buy an Upside Down Globe?
aANSWER: There is very little likelihood of anyone ever manufacturing an upside down globe. All I can suggest is that some manufacturers do produce globes that rotate so that you can put Antarctica on the top, but the writing is still (then) upside down. We do stock some inflatable items:

  1. the Earthball (which has no writing on it, and NASA satellite imagery)
  2. Blue and clear globes

37. Is there a tactile version of Peters?

38. Do you know where I can get an editable version of the Peters map in PowerPoint format?
aANSWER: The answer depends upon what you mean by editable.
Yes, we have a series of Peters Map images on our MANY WAYS DVD
(see )

The above product ($89) includes permission to reproduce the DVD content, including the PowerPoints, on an unlimited basis. The image can be resized and cropped, but the image file is NOT something you can go into and manipulate the CONTENT of, say change the names of countries, etc.

Tell me exactly what you want to do in PowerPoint and then I can suggest possibilities. We do control the licensing of the map image for North America, and so (for a fee) I can probably get you what ever you want and need. But a person-to-person phone conversation will be required before we release any digital files off anything higher than 100 DPI. Call us at 800-736-1293.

39. I heard there was once a Peters map of Africa.
aANSWER: True. But it made no sense to us, because the Peters map was never intended to be used for countries or regions. See:

Map ‘n' Facts: Children of Africa. (#2875) It contains a listing of United Methodist mission projects and locations. A description of the different types of work being carried out by mission personnel is on the reverse of the map. Service Center: $8.95





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