2006 Peters Map: A New Look

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A new edition of the Peters Map has just been released by ODT Inc., the map's North American publisher.

A new edition of the Peters Map has just been released by ODT Inc., the map's North American publisher.

"We've added more balance and created some intrigue," says Bob Abramms, ODT's founder and product development director. "The map image itself is unchanged," Abramms explains, "but everything around the image has been brought forward into the 21st century."

"The balance is in a broader perspective that is offered -- the intrigue is in the variety of additional images," says Ann Hopkins, ODT's Sales Director.

The original Peters Map, introduced in 1974 by Arno Peters, put forth a world-view that featured accurate sizes and proportions of countries. Peters' accompanying text declared his "equal area" map projection to be "the map for our time" which was "fair to all peoples." He compared it to what he noted were the biases and distortions of the traditional Mercator projection map. Some critics found Peters' words to be too self-aggrandizing. A controversy ensued regarding Peters' assertions and is often referred to as "cartography's defining moment."

What's new about the 2006 version of the Peters Map? There are dramatic changes in the supplemental text including informative panels that present other perspectives, and other maps that explain, rather than demonize the traditional Mercator Map. The new thumbnail images of other equal area maps at the bottom of the Peters Map include the Waterman Butterfly and the Hobo-Dyer Projection. A range of perspectives is also emphasized, such as the familiar images of Goode's Homolosine and the Winkel Tripel compromise projection. Len Guelke's startling Chicago-centered Azimuthal equal area projection is also included. The 2006 edition of the Peters Map also includes a web references list, brighter colors, and upgraded paper stock.

Since its introduction, the Peters Map has attracted worldwide press coverage, both praise and criticism, and has garnered more attention than any other map in history. One of the harshest critics of the Peters Map in the past has been Professor Mark Monmonier of Syracuse University. Upon seeing the revised 2006 version of the map, Monmonier said, "ODT's addition of thoughtfully annotated examples of diverse map projections provides a cartographic context for the Peters Map and enhance its value as a geographic reference tool."

Whether perceived as a "radical" viewpoint or not, the Peters Map continues to intrigue people today. In 2002, ODT received a request from the hit TV show, "The West Wing" to feature the map on an episode. To date, more than 18 million copies of the map are in circulation worldwide.

The new map image is posted at http://www.odtmaps.org/link.htm

An Arno Peters photobiography can be seen at http://www.odt.org/album.htm


Kate Larson,


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