Map projections are the ways of representing the world on a flat map and there are different types, some of them are Robinson, Mercator and Azimuthal projection.
In the following pictures are described their main characteristics.
A Earth’s globe is the only “perfect” representation of the Earth’s surface. All maps are distorted in four major ways. The four ways maps are distorted is by the shape, direction, area, and distance of the landmasses being mapped. In order to make maps, projections must be made, and different projections require different distortions.
Comparison between countries: Finland and Argentina
We have chosen Finland and Argentina because they are northern and southern countries, that is where you can actually see a major distortion. Finland has 337.000 km2 and Argentina has 2.780.400 km2, so Argentina is eight times bigger than Finland.
In Robinson’s projection, Argentina is slightly curved to the left, because the distortion is bigger as you distance from the centre. On the other hand, Finland is a little bit distorted to the Northeast for the same reason. Because of that, we see this country smaller than what it really is. In this map projection, Finland seems less important because it is more difficult to find it than Argentina, although both are in near to the poles.
In Mercator’s projection, the South of Argentina is more distorted than the North, and Finland, as is in the North, it also appears more extended that in the reality. This is because the distortion gets bigger as you distance from the equator.Like the central point is Europe, Finland is more emphasized than Argentina.
Finally, in Azimuthal projection Argentina is totally distorted in both width and length, while Finland is less distorted, in the width more than in the length. This is because the reference point is in the North, and as you distance from it, distortion will be bigger, as sizes will increment.In Azimuthal projection we find the center on the North Pole, so Finland seems more important than Argentina.
Decision about cartographic projections
As we didn’t know which map projection could be the best, we debated about it because we were not sure if chose Robinson or Mercator. At the end, we concluded that we will use a type or another depending of the age, because when children are younger they haven’t developed spatial vision so it will be better a map projection that seems more straight like Mercator. However, we think when they grow up and they are older the best option would be Robinson because they can start to relate it with the shape of the Earth. Furthermore, like they have seen two different ways of maps they could compare them and be more critic.
An example of a distortion of knowledge in schools, and so, reality in general, could be textbooks. Textbooks are an obvious educational tool that almost every student use at school. It’s the reference item for teachers, and has even devalued them in a sense that they don’t control neither the subject and content, but just follow them without even questioning. This can be a problem, as textbooks will never be neutral and accurate. It’s impossible to be 100% neutral and don’t reflect your point of view, something that is really dangerous in education, as you are supposed to transmit a neutral content for students to form their own critical and subjective view of it. Also, as we studied in PLANIFICACION, textbooks are a simple distortion of reality, as they have to simplify concepts for children to understand them, and they simplify them so much that at the end they’re just caricatures of themselves, and don’t really represent reality. Because of that, teachers need to be aware of the ideology of textbooks, and not let them guide the course, but use them just as a support to go deeper in the content. Some children, as they are ruled by the authority principle, tend to think that everything that is in the book is ok, and that’s something the teacher must be aware of. We could solve it by not having textbooks, and instead having documents of different sources to contrast information, or using them just like a help for the teacher. They also have to put things and concepts in practice for children to see their use.
Here we have some examples related with gender and jobs. In the first picture we can see that most of the workers are men, so children can understand that the most of the women don’t work. Furthermore, in the second picture we also appreciate that the hard jobs or jobs in which is needed the strength are made by men, while women seem to be more relaxed in their jobs.
A treasure hunt is a game that consists on providing to children a list with different items and what they have to do is to search for all the items to complete the list. An example of this activity is Internet scavenger hunt, that is a way of teaching how obtain information from Internet and what students have to do is to search in the different webs provided in the list a certain information. Other example and the one we find with primary content is a Maths scavenger hunt. In this case students will solve the different maths problems we give to them. The following pictures are about the Maths scavenger hunt and we find it in this web. However, in the page you have to register if you want to see it, so we prepared a link of Google Drive to make easier see it.
Relationship between the activity and ‘Media are not neutral’.
We’ve studied this whole map and projections idea because its distortions of the real size of the world represents the way in which resources aren’t completely accurate at the time of representing reality. That means that teachers have to be very critical at the time of choosing media for teaching in a classroom, as they distort reality.