Most people go through life perfectly happy in the knowledge that the real earth looks like it does on a standard Mercator projection map. Cartographers, map nerds and those that have seen this scene from the West Wing know that this is not really the case.
Tourists and locals experience cities in strikingly different ways. For example, in London most tourists will visit Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Oxford Street, etc. but will probably not end up visiting East Croydon, Hendon, Dagenham or any of the other parts of London outside of Zone 1.
Conversely, Londoners can go years without ever visiting the tourist traps of central London. To see just how different these two worlds are, have a look at the map of London above based on where people take photos.
The map above shows the names of Arabic speaking countries in Arabic with romanizations to help those who don’t actually speak Arabic. Interestingly, most are quite different from the English name for the country.
Reddit user Pinuzzo, who created the map, explains that:
Did you know that California, Sweden and Madagascar are all quite similar in size? Don’t believe me? Well look at the map above comparing California and Madagascar or the one below comparing Sweden and Madagascar. Here are a few comparisons between the 3 based on data from Wikipedia:
In terms of total area: