Map Begins New Life at 40: Empowering People –
Then, Now, and for the Future
Since its introduction, the Peters Map has attracted worldwide press coverage and has probably garnered more attention than any other map in history. The new 2014 Peters wall map (released on July 15, 2014) offers a 30% larger map image and has omitted the right side text panel (which was originally inflammatory to traditional cartographers in 1983). See the original edition at: http://odtmaps.com/detail.asp_Q_product_id_E_Pet-Wall-35x50
Historian Arno Peters was a tireless advocate for social justice, and the “equality of all peoples,” which led him to create his Peters Equal Area world map. Peters contended that people's perceptions of the world suffered from geographic distortion as well as historical skewing. The Peters Map, one of the few world maps showing land areas of each country in true proportion, was introduced at a press conference in Bonn, Germany in 1974. The first English language version was published in 1983 by a consortium of faith-based, and social justice organizations. See: http://odtmaps.com/detail.asp?product_id=Pet-Wall-35x50&Contents=TAB2 Never before had the publication of any world map generated such interest…as well as antagonism. In fact, the controversy was so widespread that cartographic historian, Jeremy Crampton called the debate that ensued, “Cartography’s Defining Moment” in a 1994 article he published in Cartographica. By the year 2000 there were over 28 million Peters Maps in circulation.
ODT, a publishing company in Amherst MA, took over as the North American publisher of the English edition of the Peters Map in 2001. Sales of the map expanded to the corporate, association, and public school markets, as well as its use in the burgeoning new field of Media Literacy. The Peters Map became a Media Literacy “poster child”: - a single image that could help deconstruct conventional world views.
The Peters Map made history on Aaron Sorkin’s hit television show, “The West Wing,” which featured the Peters Map in Season 2, (in 2001). In that episode a fictional group of “Cartographers for Social Equality” lobbied for support of the Peters Map to be used in every public school classroom in the USA. This episode was seen by 20 million viewers, and the map clip on YouTube has been seen by over 3 million viewers: www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8zBC2dvERM
ODT’s president, Howard Bronstein, says "the world has changed, and it was time for the Peters map we publish to reflect that. Arno Peters launched his map 40 years ago in the world that was only recently de-colonized. It was time to shift the focus & purpose of the map!” The 2014 Peters Map will be available in both paper/folded and laminated formats, and also can be custom produced in sizes up to 30 feet wide. The history of the map is found at: http://odtmaps.com/detail.asp?product_id=Pet-Wall-35x50-2014-Clone&Contents=TAB2