Google Maps desktop now displays Earth as 3D globe

Avatar By Le Williams | 2 years ago

Google Inc. has opted for a 3D view of the globe in its latest update to Google Maps. Through the use of a desktop computer, users now have the ability to zoom all the way out, alternatively viewing a moon’s-eye view of the planet in retrospect of a flat ‘Mercator’ projection.

Adding another dimension to Maps takes care of the issue of displaying incorrect proportions in a flat view of the Earth, specifically when moving further away from the equator.

The original flat depiction (or Mercator projection) of the Earth distorted the size of areas in higher latitudes significantly, making regions closer to the poles look larger than they actually are in relation to land masses closer to the equator.

In the previous desktop version, Greenland appears to be larger than Africa in the Mercator projection, whereas in reality it only measures 836,300 square miles compared with Africa’s 11.73 million square miles.

Antartica appears to be the largest continent when viewed on a Mercator projection when, in fact, it ranks just fifth in area, according to Tech Radar reports.

Google says that its three-dimensional Globe Mode fixes that problem.

While the change brings Maps in line with Google Earth, which always depicted the Earth in three dimensions, Flat Earthers have been quick to find fault with the update.

In an email seen by CNET, Pete Svarrior, a social media manager at the Flat Earth Society said, “From a Flat Earth point of view, this is a change from one inaccurate projection (Mercator) to another (a globe). Google Maps is a product … [that] tries to deliver what [its] customers want to receive. Most people firmly believe that the Earth is a globe — it’s sensible business to display it as one.”