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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
Can I get a JPG File of the Peters Map? Or a
What is the best way to find a map
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
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
Is Canada really that small as it appears on a
How can I make an oversized print of a
How does the Peters compare to the NGS Winkel Tripel?
Can I get a PETERS MAP FOR INDIVIDUAL
COUNTRIES or REGIONS?
When they talk about equal area maps, how is
What is the EQUATORIAL SCALE on the Peters
Why are the MOUNTAINS in METRES?
If I were to dig straight down where would I
Why are map projections essential tools of
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
Is it possible to buy a Goode Homolosine
What does ODT stand for?
On the Peters Map, Wales is not named. Why
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
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?
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?
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
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
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
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?
We have a map trade publishing association: for
information about the International Map Trade Association
6. We’d like to have a donation for our school. Is there any
way we can get a map for free?
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.
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
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
(from Terry Hardaker the Peters Map Official
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
Oasis Park, Eynsham, Oxford OX29 4TP, UK
Phone (44) (0)1865 882884
Fax (44) (0)1865 882925
10: Are Peters map TRANSPARENCIES available?
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:
- used within your organization only
- not for fee-paid/admission charged events
- Licensed to the specific location where materials are
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
11: Where can I get Black and White outline maps for testing
students in the classroom?
There are free B&W downloadable versions of the Hobo-Dyer
and Peters at www.ODTmaps.com
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
12: Is there a way I can get a Peters Map in Europe?
Contact the New Internationalist (
They'll give you a FREE Peters Map with your paid magazine
(Their map is only 24" x 36" as compared to our 35" x 50"
Its a great magazine and a convenient way to get your map.
13: Is Canada really that small as it appears on a Peters
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
( http://www.odtmaps.com/books.18.104.22.168.htm ) 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.
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?
The Winkel Tripel is in a class of map projections called
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
16: Can I get a PETERS MAP FOR INDIVIDUAL COUNTRIES or
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
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
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?
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?
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?
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
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.
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
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?
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
Was not Reverend Gall the original author of the “Peters
I am sure you will be more comfortable with the information
about the map at:
http://www.diversophy.com/petersmap.htm 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
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.
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.
I don't know....but here's how I'd look.
- Search engines with "Goode Homolosine" and "Price"
- MapLink catalog on-line (www.maplink.com)
- 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?
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 http://www.odtmaps.com/about_us/
On the Peters Map, Wales is not named. Why not?
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
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?
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?
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
www.MapLink.com (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?
Season two, episode 16, scene 4 and possibly into scene
Here is the info you need from four different sources:
Plus, we have clips in our forthcoming Peters Map
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
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?
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
Institute...it did not work out and the image belongs to
them. You can try them at www.bfi.org.
33. Why does your Upside-down maps distorts sizes?
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)?
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?
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:
www.worldeagle.com, 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
firstname.lastname@example.org about current availability
36. Where can I buy an Upside Down Globe?
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:
- the Earthball (which has no writing on it, and NASA
- 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?
The answer depends upon what you mean by editable.
Yes, we have a series of Peters Map images on our MANY WAYS
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.
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