How well do you know the world?
January 23, 2018 7:37 AM   Subscribe

 
67%... which is... alright, I guess. They had weird narrow continents, tho.
posted by Grither at 7:42 AM on January 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


69% - I'm pretty OK with that. I only got 3/10 for Congo and Germany, but otherwise not too bad.
posted by widdershins at 7:43 AM on January 23, 2018


67%

I was correct on the ones that are generally misrepresented, like Africa - North America. The ones I got wrong I underestimated the smallness of the ones that were smaller. Does that make sense?

And I got a 10/10 for Mexico - Australia!
posted by cooker girl at 7:47 AM on January 23, 2018


61%. It would be better, but I screwed up Nigeria and Japan badly. I usually overcompensated for the Mercator distortion instead of following it.
posted by Miss Cellania at 7:48 AM on January 23, 2018 [2 favorites]


80%, with a fairly close point spread of 6/10 - 10/10.
posted by jedicus at 7:51 AM on January 23, 2018


I got 98% fine I'm lying. But I did better than I thought - didn't realize Columbia and Nigeria were, proportionally so big.
posted by From Bklyn at 7:52 AM on January 23, 2018


71%. The use of the Mercator projection threw me way off sometimes. I got North America-South America pretty far off. It would have been nice if they'd used a better projection so I didn't have to mentally adjust for that.
posted by explosion at 7:53 AM on January 23, 2018 [3 favorites]


67%, but I was pretty solidly middle of the road - 1 5/10 and 1 9/10, but otherwise 6 or 7 of 10 across the board.

I kind of want to do it again on a proper computer to see if my wee smartphone screen handicapped me at all. But, I suspect 67% is about accurate. I frequently misjudge which size Tupperware I need for leftovers, so relative sizes is probably not my strongest suit.

This is fun though, thanks for posting!
posted by the primroses were over at 7:54 AM on January 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


71%

I did best with Mexico/Mongolia and Thailand/United Kingdom (10/10). I did worst with Japan/North Korea (4/10) and India/Syria (6/10).
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 7:55 AM on January 23, 2018


74%: I had two 10/10 answers but two 4/10 as well.
posted by misteraitch at 7:55 AM on January 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


I got 77%, which left me feeling undeservedly smug.
posted by Floydd at 7:55 AM on January 23, 2018 [2 favorites]


79%. I was always right about which one was bigger but had trouble narrowing in on the right proportion. Nailed Congo vs. Germany tho!
posted by Wretch729 at 7:57 AM on January 23, 2018


I somehow ended up with an 86%, but honestly I spent most of the time clicking wildly in the range between obviously too big and obviously too small before saying "good enough" semi-randomly, so that could easily drop if I ever take this again.
posted by Copronymus at 8:01 AM on January 23, 2018 [2 favorites]


75% -- the saddest thing was I was way off on Europe vs N America because I didn't know and couldn't tell what counts as Europe. I'm very vague on what the South/Eastern borders are. Does Kazakhstan count? Is Russia "Europe" all the way to the Pacific (which, now that I look it up isn't the Pacific there, it's the Sea of Okhotsk and the Bering Sea and the Sea of Japan)?
posted by mrmurbles at 8:03 AM on January 23, 2018


69%
My closest were Asia-Africa (8/10) and South America-Europe (9/10) so at least I know my continents. I thought Syria was way bigger than it actually is, apparently.
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:04 AM on January 23, 2018


77%. I have a GIS certificate from 10 years ago so I 'd hoped I'd done better, but I'm OK with this. I was farthest off on Thailand vs. New Zealand (5/10), which is fair since I have never traveled to Australasia or looked into it much. 10/10 on DRC vs Greenland though. Africa is REALLY BIG, y'all.
posted by AFABulous at 8:04 AM on January 23, 2018 [2 favorites]


72% but I flubbed Mongolia vs USA (2/10) badly or I think it'd be much higher, makes me feel good about my spacial skills and trivia actually.

...for some reason I thought it was just as big as/the same as the whole eastern part of Russia. Odd.
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:05 AM on January 23, 2018


mrmumbles, the divide between Europe and Asia is the Ural Mtns. I think that puts Kazahkstan in Asia, but Russia is in both.
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:06 AM on January 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


75% because I kept underestimating the size of predominantly Western nation states (Italy & New Zealand vs Syria & Thailand, respectively, at 3/10, the rest were 8/10 and above). I suppose there are worse biases to have, lol
posted by runt at 8:06 AM on January 23, 2018


I gave up at Greenland, because it looks incredibly huge on Mercator projections. It is only marginally larger than DR Congo, which on, say, Google Maps appears to be 1/7th the size.
posted by grumpybear69 at 8:08 AM on January 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


66% — Germany/Congo surprised me, and I thought the Europe map for South America/Europe included Russia, for reasons unknown.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:08 AM on January 23, 2018


57%. I got Cuba twice (vs North Korea, and then Israel), and both times I thought it was the smaller of the pair. Cuba is big, y'all!

My next worst was Japan vs USA -- looking at the reality, I thought I eyeballed it fairly ok though. I guess it goes by raw number of ticks, which makes it harder to be precise when the difference is so large.
posted by rollick at 8:09 AM on January 23, 2018


I'm stupid.
posted by chococat at 8:12 AM on January 23, 2018 [5 favorites]


Comrade!
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:13 AM on January 23, 2018 [3 favorites]


75%. Cuba and France were the two I had the most difficulty with. India and Canada are two countries that make up my own culture/ethnicity and I still found a way to screw that up. Hehe. This was fun.
posted by Fizz at 8:14 AM on January 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


85%, i guess all my time fucking around on google earth 10 years ago paid off!
posted by lineofsight at 8:15 AM on January 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


69%, and pretty consistent; one 5, two 6's, four 7's, and three 8's
posted by achrise at 8:15 AM on January 23, 2018


72%. The only one I blew badly was Turkey and North Korea, which I thought were roughly the same size.

I knew that Greenland was much smaller than Russia thanks largely to the SCTV sketch "What fits into Mother Russia?" So thanks, Dave Thomas!
posted by holborne at 8:16 AM on January 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


I felt like I didn't have enough information to complete the quiz; I wanted to know which kind of map they were using. But it seems like that was the point of the survey.
posted by aniola at 8:18 AM on January 23, 2018


79%. 6/10 on France/Syria and India/Canada - I overestimated Syria and India. 10/10 on USA/N Korea.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:19 AM on January 23, 2018


85%
posted by lineofsight


Checks out.
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:21 AM on January 23, 2018


It seems I consistently embiggen the size of countries near the middle of the map, inside my head, and then overcompensate for this known issue by making my estimates waayyy small ...

Results

68 %

India - Russia 9/10
India - Syria 10/10
Turkey - United States of America 4/10
South Africa - Italy 6/10
Asia - Africa 8/10
New Zealand - Mongolia 5/10
Brazil - Saudi Arabia 3/10
Democratic Republic of the Congo - Germany 5/10
South America - Europe 9/10
Israel - United Kingdom 9/10
posted by MiraK at 8:22 AM on January 23, 2018


69% I am okay with that.
posted by Splunge at 8:26 AM on January 23, 2018


I was correct on the ones that are generally misrepresented, like Africa - North America. The ones I got wrong I underestimated the smallness of the ones that were smaller. Does that make sense?

Yeah, that's what I did too - I erred on the side of overcompensating and guessing that the "non-Western" countries were bigger.

I was waaaaaaaaaaaaay off on the proportionality of North Korea to the US.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:26 AM on January 23, 2018


70%. I thought I would do worse, but still have a lot to learn!
posted by Lynsey at 8:30 AM on January 23, 2018


64%! I did pretty well on everything except mainland China v South Africa (I thought SA was wayyyy bigger than it is; 3/10) and Colombia v Mexico (I thought Colombia was wayyyy smaller than it is; 3/10.) I'm pretty chuffed that I did as well as I did!
posted by headspace at 8:33 AM on January 23, 2018


88%
Range: made 6 out of 10 on one, and 10 out of 10 on three.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:35 AM on January 23, 2018


79%, with 3 10/10s. I can live with that.
posted by Four Ds at 8:37 AM on January 23, 2018


68% here too. I also underestimated Cuba, as well as Thailand.
posted by numaner at 8:41 AM on January 23, 2018


I'm feeling a little smarty pants this morning with 78% and 3 10/10. Not bad.
posted by Sophie1 at 8:43 AM on January 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


Its interesting from the comparisons cited above, not everyone gets the same pairs of countries/continents. 85% for me. I was way off on Australia vs China.
posted by blakewest at 8:45 AM on January 23, 2018


This article explores how maps are a social construction that - when used by whites - are *surprise!!!* racist against non-whites. It wasn't the explicit intent of the Mercator projection, which was useful for ocean navigation, but the effect of continuing to use a subpar projection in classrooms is that kids perceive Africa and South America to be much smaller than they are relative to Europe and North America. Scroll down this page for an interactive comparison between projections.

(There are better, more in-depth articles, but I'm in a hurry so I picked the first decent-looking one. You get the point.)
posted by AFABulous at 8:46 AM on January 23, 2018 [4 favorites]


Continent comparisons were generally much easier than individual countries.

Interesting, but not surprising, that I over-estimated the size of India and Turkey, places where ive spent more time relative to other options in this test.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 8:48 AM on January 23, 2018


67%. OK, I guess. Even though I know equatorial areas get shortchanged on most projections, I don’t appreciate by just how much.
posted by TedW at 8:51 AM on January 23, 2018


83%. I knew that Africa and its countries are much bigger than you would think from the Mercator maps I grew up with.
posted by blob at 8:58 AM on January 23, 2018


62%, but I'm pretty terrible at maps. OTOH, I was aware of which countries were bigger, and for the ones where there was a pronounced difference I was aware that it was a pronounced difference, so honestly I feel pretty good about it. I'm not as worried about being confused about the exact degree to which, eg,Turkey is bigger than Germany so much as I'm worried about thinking that Germany is big and Turkey is small. Also I got the continents pretty much bang on.
posted by Frowner at 8:59 AM on January 23, 2018


72%, with a range of 5-9/10. Put Turkey at about 1/2 the width of the contiguous US; 1/5 would have been about right. Figured Germany was smaller than D.R. Congo, but I didn't realize how much smaller.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:03 AM on January 23, 2018


I wish there'd been some kind of visual indication of how many ticks you'd made, because I did badly.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:04 AM on January 23, 2018


82%, and nothing worse than a 7/10. Syria and North Korea are both smaller than I thought.
posted by jackflaps at 9:06 AM on January 23, 2018


It wasn't the explicit intent of the Mercator projection, which was useful for ocean navigation

Mercator gets a lot of flack, and it is super lousy for visualizing and understanding the world, and people sure do use it that way. But even though we no longer care how rhumb lines look, it still is the best choice I know of for modern navigation (i.e., google maps driving directions). It's conformal, which means that anywhere on the map local shapes are preserved. That means if you zoom in to an intersection, the streets will meet at the same angles as in real life, whether it's in in Tromsø or Quito. And North is always the same direction, so things don't rotate as you zoom or pan the map. I don't think any other projection meets those criteria (well, except for any variants where things get huge at two antipodes other than the poles).

Anyway, I got 75%. I'm a little disappointed in myself.
posted by aubilenon at 9:08 AM on January 23, 2018 [5 favorites]


74%. I was pretty close on some comparisons, but way off on others. I didn't realize Syria was that small. It bigger than my state in the US, but not that much smaller. About like VA, if VA and WV had never split. I had the same pattern of errors as cooker girl.
posted by nangar at 9:13 AM on January 23, 2018


I didn't do too badly. 81 percent, and I was 7 to 10 of 10 for everything but Saudia Arabia-France, and I knew I had no clear idea of that one. I was mostly checking mentally via picturing a globe, and I just didn't have a sufficiently clear visual sense of the size of France within Europe and the size of Saudi Arabia within the Middle East to compare them well.
posted by tavella at 9:15 AM on January 23, 2018


76%, we seem to all get different q's. 5/10 i made N America too small to Africa, Made Syria not small enough for India -and boy, do i not know the shape of india :(

10/10 S. America vs Europe. It's Time zones and day-length excentrisity for the win!
posted by Anchorite_of_Palgrave at 9:15 AM on January 23, 2018


The three I nailed perfectly were Thailand-UK, Japan-Sweden, and US-China. I'm kind of proud of the first two -- those aren't the easiest to match up!
posted by tavella at 9:19 AM on January 23, 2018


83%. My points ranged from 7/10 to 10/10.
posted by Liesl at 9:19 AM on January 23, 2018


68% and my biggest mistake was the Republic of Congo vs Germany (3/10). Clearly I thought the Republic of Congo was much bigger than it actually is... And I somehow only got 5/10 for India vs Syria, I really really really thought I'd made Syria small enough but obviously not.
posted by lydhre at 9:22 AM on January 23, 2018


75%, the only one I really borked was Turkey vs NK. Totally nailed China vs Japan though.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 9:25 AM on January 23, 2018


I was upset to see that they used a Mercator projection on the North America map (and everywhere else, I assume), because I'm not sure how I'm supposed to match up the areas of countries when the projection used is distorting areas and in the case of North America it's distorting areas by different amounts.

This is to say that I sucked at this game, but it's not my fault.

Mongolia is much bigger than I thought.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 9:26 AM on January 23, 2018 [2 favorites]


I'm outraged at how small Greenland is compared with China! I feel like everybody has been lying to me my whole life!
posted by something something at 9:31 AM on January 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


81%, scores ranging from 6/10 to 10/10. As a US-educated person I made heavy use of the heuristic "African and Asian countries are probably bigger than your first guess". Interestingly, though, my confidence in the answers didn't really correlate very well with which questions I actually answered accurately; my two 9s were both answers I regretted right after clicking, and one of my 6s was one I thought I estimated pretty well.
posted by egregious theorem at 9:33 AM on January 23, 2018


Does Kazakhstan count?
I think that puts Kazahkstan in Asia,

Kazakhstan's western end extends across the Ural River, so it has territory in both Europe and Asia.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 9:42 AM on January 23, 2018 [2 favorites]


Some of my misses were just guesses.

My biggest surprise was Germany (way smaller than I estimated) vs Japan. Lots of Germany misses in the comments here.
posted by jjj606 at 9:49 AM on January 23, 2018


I got an 81%, but I did not appreciate the "PLEASE FILL OUT THE FORM COMPLETELY" message that told me my lowly piece of shit garbage self fucked up, but didn't tell me just how my lowly piece of shit garbage self fucked up. (Reader, I found the drop menu they wanted.)
posted by Guy Smiley at 10:19 AM on January 23, 2018 [2 favorites]


78%, with my guesses getting more accurate as I went along.
posted by briank at 10:20 AM on January 23, 2018


86 %

China (mainland) - Greenland 9/10
Ethiopia - Mexico 10/10
India - Brazil 8/10
Africa - North America 10/10
South America - Asia 9/10
Nigeria - Sweden 9/10
Cuba - France 9/10
Democratic Republic of the Congo - Australia 7/10
Italy - New Zealand 9/10
South Africa - China (mainland) 6/10

I wasn't sure if this was a good score or not, but I founded and run a mapping data company and spend a lot of my time writing software to do complex geospatial calculations. My house is mainly decorated with maps. I like maps. I am living my best life. Or I will be once I buy these shoes.

This is going on the company link board.
posted by Alison at 10:28 AM on January 23, 2018 [7 favorites]


I'm so impressed that some of you got 10/10s — how can you even do that?
My score was 72% which I'm fine with. Mexico is way bigger than I thought and Mongolia way smaller, those two threw me off, and I also thought Syria was larger compared to the US to a 6/10.
posted by mumimor at 10:56 AM on January 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


Results

69 %

NICE

This was actually surprisingly challenging. I pay attention to country location, policies and foreign policy, etc, but not really relative size to such an extent.
posted by Existential Dread at 11:11 AM on January 23, 2018


I was upset to see that they used a Mercator projection on the North America map

The North America map I got was clearly not a Mercator projection -- I don't know what it is, but you can tell it's not Mercator based on the fact that Greenland is squashed up against the top and is shorter top-to-bottom than Mexico, which is most certainly not the case on Mercator (in which Greenland appears to be 5x "taller" than Mexico).
posted by andrewesque at 11:11 AM on January 23, 2018


74%, but I have gripes

It kind of sucks that the map didn't use an equal area projection, or at least some sort of compromise projection. I was asked to compare North America, which includes Greenland, to South America, in what looked like the Mercator projection. So I had to adjust for the fact that Greenland was way oversized. That's much harder than comparing in, say, the Winkel Tripel. It seems like more of a test of spatial intelligence (which I seriously lack) than map knowledge (which I have a lot of).

It would be nice if we all got the same comparisons. I would guess people do worse on countries that are further away, because we aren't used to seeing them next to each other on maps.

I also found myself wanting the countries more close together. Like, I was asked to compare all of Africa and all of Asia. I know where the Horn of Africa gets near the Arabian Peninsula, and I know where the Suez Canal is, so I figured I should make those distances the same distance on my screen. I did my best, but found it hard, and I got only 6/10.

Actually now that I think of it, that wasn't the right thing to do, because this is the Mercator projection, which isn't equal area, and Eurasia is way further from the equator on average than Africa. But that's super counter intuitive to me.

OK /whining
posted by andrewpcone at 11:14 AM on January 23, 2018


I just ran through it again and this time I got a North America in what's obviously a Mercator projection. It seems like they're deliberately using different projections different times to see what effects that has, which I think is actually quite clever.

I'm pretty sure the original North America projection I got was an equal-area projection.
posted by andrewesque at 11:14 AM on January 23, 2018 [2 favorites]


63% I blame Thailand vs UK which I winced as soon as I clicked OK because I knew I had a total post-colonial + Mercator bias going on. Sure enough, 2/10.
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:16 AM on January 23, 2018


OK, last comment on this, I promise; I've just spent a couple rounds speeding through to get to continent questions and there's definitely variation in projections -- I've seen China back-to-back in what are two different projections, and I've seen Europe in both a Mercator and non-Mercator projections. There's definitely deliberate projection variation going on.
posted by andrewesque at 11:18 AM on January 23, 2018


79%! Probably because all my school maps used the Robinson projection.

Japan - Sweden 7/10
USA - Syria 8/10
Thailand - UK 9/10
Australia - China 9/10
Mexico - Mongolia 7/10
South America - Asia 9/10
Nigeria - Japan 9/10
Africa - Europe 6/10
Saudi Arabia - Russia 9/10
Colombia - Canada 6/10

I thought I'd be clever and use my thumbnail to match the southern European coastline to northern Africa, but was still way off. Even knowing about the Mercator thing, Europe looks unbelievably small. (I also discovered a personal bias against dropdown lists that put the U.S. in alphabetical order...)

Also, did anyone else feel like you could get kind of get a sense how close you were by how thick or detailed the borders were?
posted by Rhaomi at 11:18 AM on January 23, 2018


I am completely, irrevocably, undeniably, totally, fundamentally, eternally Australian.
posted by firstdrop at 11:26 AM on January 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


I also discovered a personal bias against dropdown lists that put the U.S. in alphabetical order

I'm kind of amazed that if you're from the US you have to enter your country in a dropdown list so rarely that this is a new experience. Living in the country (normally) one higher than you on the list, this is a regular gripe. Especially with the Åland Islands coming first. And sometimes my part of the UK comes under Great Britain, or even England, which is even more annoying.
posted by ambrosen at 11:29 AM on January 23, 2018


72%

South Africa - China (mainland) 9/10
Africa - North America 7/10
Turkey - Germany 7/10
Cuba - France 9/10
Saudi Arabia - Russia 5/10
Democratic Republic of the Congo - Greenland 10/10
South America - Europe 6/10
Colombia - Mexico 8/10
Thailand - New Zealand 7/10
India - Syria 4/10

The lowest scores are countries with a big disparity in size -- I knew the smaller one was significantly smaller, I just didn't zoom out far enough.

The Europe-South America one was the only surprise; I knew Europe is always smaller than I think, but I didn't realize it was that much smaller.
posted by AzraelBrown at 11:29 AM on January 23, 2018


63%. At least I won't have to take this again over the summer.
posted by Flexagon at 11:54 AM on January 23, 2018 [2 favorites]


*looks at result*

"Aww...78%?"

*looks at thread*

"Hey...78%! All right!"
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:54 AM on January 23, 2018 [5 favorites]


Of course- I'm older, so I still remember watching What Fits Into Russia after school.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:58 AM on January 23, 2018


I'm kind of amazed that if you're from the US you have to enter your country in a dropdown list so rarely that this is a new experience

My usual experience for picking the US out of a drop-down is that if you type "U" the drop-down will take you to the U section of countries, but in this case that didn't work so I had the less-usual experience of being forced to scroll.

(The other things that sometimes happen are that 1. the site is US-based with predominantly US customers so it privileges the US in menu options or 2. that site first has you pick a specific region/language so by the time you "check out" the number of countries in the dropdown is smaller).
posted by mrmurbles at 12:13 PM on January 23, 2018 [2 favorites]


70%--good enough for me...
posted by Namlit at 1:21 PM on January 23, 2018


This is part of phd research "to discover how our worldview is influenced by maps and map projections used on the Internet, in our education, in the media" through the Ghent University's Dept of Geography. It's interesting to see our own biases at play here. I'm excited to see what conclusions will be drawn from it all (and, as a cartographer, if I can use them...).
posted by everybody had matching towels at 1:30 PM on January 23, 2018


This is definitely something that spending a lot of time with a globe when I was a kid helped with, even though it's been decades. Both because the proportions are right and because there's something about being able to see the pieces from multiple angles that really seems to have wired it in.
posted by tavella at 1:48 PM on January 23, 2018


The other effect of Mercator projection that I've noticed is that it really squares off the mental map of how land is arranged, particularly around the Atlantic, even more so if political borders are emphasized. I'm always astonished that the North American Atlantic Coast lines up with the South American Pacific Coast, that Nova Scotia and Maine are *that* close to West Africa, that Ukraine and Iran aren't so distant if you look at them on a globe.
posted by bendybendy at 1:49 PM on January 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


64%, which I thought would be much lower; I'm terrible at maps.
I got one 10/10 (Brazil/Mongolia - apparently those were two places I remember firmly from playing HereBeMonsters), one 9/10, and one 8/10.

If you're feeling bad about your score, don't worry; Miss Teen South Carolina 2007 has an explanation.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 2:16 PM on January 23, 2018 [2 favorites]


75%
Ethiopia - Mexico 7/10
India - Brazil 9/10
Italy - New Zealand 6/10
Democratic Republic of the Congo - Australia 10/10
South America - Asia 9/10
Nigeria - Sweden 4/10
Cuba - France 7/10
China (mainland) - Greenland 9/10
South Africa - China (mainland) 8/10
Africa - North America 6/10

This was fun and I will share it with students.
posted by Gotanda at 4:28 PM on January 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


58% because I overcompensated for the (Web) Mercator warp. Flashback to when I had lots of opinions on this issue, and flash-forward to well-informed people still disliking Mercator but no change to any other projection or some hybrid projection - the academic vs. industry deadlock continues.
posted by tmcw at 5:28 PM on January 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


74%. That was fun. I didn't get asked about Greenland at all.

My best was Saudi Arabia/Russia (10/10), and Japan/Sweden and South America/Asia (9/10). Worst was U.S./Syria (5/10; the latter is even smaller than I imagined, only the size of Washington State), and Mexico/Mongolia (6/10).
posted by LeLiLo at 6:17 PM on January 23, 2018


My god, this just confirmed I'm awful with spatial visualization. All you people embarrassed at your freaking 75%, well, I am here to boost your self esteem--I got 54%!

And I actually got a 10/10 (Japan/South Africa) and a 9/10 (Nigeria/Sweden), so as you can imagine there were some doozies dragging my average down.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 6:33 PM on January 23, 2018


Very pleased with my score in the mid 70s!


The ones I got wrong I underestimated the smallness of the ones that were smaller. Does that make sense?


Yeah, that's what I did too -

Yup, had I clicked just 1-2 more times on most of them....


I was waaaaaaaaaaaaay off on the proportionality of North Korea to the US.
The two that really screwed me up were N. Korea and India. I guess they loom larger for me because of the current news emphasis on N. Korea, and because of the 3.34 billion people living in India--almost 18% of the world population. Astounding.
posted by BlueHorse at 6:54 PM on January 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


Showing North America with a Mercator projection (with Greenland consequently huge) raised a lot of red flags about this whole exercise to me. It would be trivial to conduct this exercise with an equal area projection, or a combination of projections which made more sense.
posted by mollweide at 7:11 PM on January 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


79% woohoo! I knew Africa is big. I didn't realize how big South America is. Same Mercator distortion at work.
posted by Loudmax at 7:11 PM on January 23, 2018


68%, but I feel like I want a redo as I wasn't paying attention on the Africa & Europe one, I'm sure I would have got much better.
It would be interesting to see some of the results statistics they would be gathering with the age, sex, level of education and country of education results.

I also was thinking going into this, ah cool I think I generally know where in the globe countries are, and thinking what curve ball countries they would throw.. Then BANG, they throw a better curve ball with the country size proportion test...

posted by Merlin The Happy Pig at 7:16 PM on January 23, 2018


74%. My worst was Italy and New Zealand -- I guess I heard that New Zealand is about as long as California, and Italy is way smaller than California, so... oops.

They shouldn't show entire continents since they are big enough to be biased by map projections of the sample images.
posted by miyabo at 8:38 PM on January 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


83% -- my two worst were japan/sweden and japan/nigeria (6 and 5/10 respectively) while I aced thailand/UK and south america/asia. Apparently I don't know how big Japan is, which is a little weird, because I've actually been there (can't say the same for nigeria, sweden, thailand, south america, or mainland asia).
posted by axiom at 9:03 PM on January 23, 2018


68% I screwed up Europe/south america by hitting ok instead of -. Grrrr
posted by kitten magic at 11:09 PM on January 23, 2018


77%

Democratic Republic of the Congo - Germany 10/10
Asia - Africa 6/10
India - Syria 4/10
Russia - India 8/10
Brazil - Saudi Arabia 9/10
Turkey - United States of America 8/10
Israel - United Kingdom 7/10
South America - Europe 7/10
South Africa - Italy 9/10
New Zealand - Mongolia 9/10
posted by filtergik at 4:25 AM on January 24, 2018


77%, which is better than I expected. Getting China vs. Japan twice probably helped.

Africa - South America 7/10
Mongolia - United States of America 6/10
Sweden - Canada 6/10
Asia - Europe 7/10
Japan - China (mainland) 10/10
China (mainland) - Japan 10/10
Russia - Greenland 10/10
Thailand - Mexico 9/10
Turkey - North Korea 9/10
South Africa - Australia 3/10
posted by entity447b at 5:43 AM on January 24, 2018


66%. It's funny that although I knew the continent of Africa looks smaller on the standard Mercator than it actually is, I didn't necessarily translate that to all the countries in Africa look smaller on the standard Mercator than they actually are. My worst one was Dem Rep of the Congo vs Australia, which, given that I live in one of those countries, I'd've expected to get a bit closer to right.
posted by Athanassiel at 9:01 PM on January 24, 2018 [1 favorite]


75%. Like others, I was put off by the use of Mercator. Showing me Mercator projections of Greenland and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and asking me to make them the correct size is just a weird fucking thing to ask. Like, I can see plainly that the representation of Greenland is not even internally consistent—the northern part is drawn at a radically different scale from the southern part—so I'm not sure how I'm supposed to make sense of a directive to reconcile that with a country at a totally different latitude.
posted by Syllepsis at 9:17 PM on January 24, 2018


69%. I also badly under-estimated a couple of African countries paired with European ones, and inexplicably thought Mexico was bigger than Australia. Otherwise, not too bad.
posted by yhbc at 9:21 PM on January 24, 2018


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