Different perspectives

If aliens arrived at Earth how would they see us? It depends on what direction they come from and orientation they have.

This photo taken from Apollo 17 shows Antarctic at the top.

599px-apollo17worldreversed

Original file

While world maps have a commonly have north up and south down they can be drawn any way you like.

enhanced-buzz-wide-4103-1376492445-11

Via nnm.me from Buzzfeed (with more interesting maps)

How some New Zealanders think some other New Zealanders see New Zealand:

parlamento_da_nova_zelc3a2ndia

How some other New Zealanders think some other New Zealanders see New Zealand:

GooglerEarthAuckland

New Zealand could just as easily be seen like this:

NZRotated

I try to see New Zealand from different perspectives and encourage others to do likewise, that’s one of the aims of Your NZ.

What’s north? What’s south? What’s right? What’s left? It depends on where you’re looking from.

 

 

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56 Comments

  1. Oliver

     /  27th March 2016

    The magnetic poles dictates how the world is viewed and how maps are drawn. It didn’t happen by accident.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  27th March 2016

      I am sure you did, Oliver, but the magnetic poles don’t dictate how we draw maps.

      Reply
      • Oliver

         /  27th March 2016

        Wilky if you look at a map showing the magnetic lines you will see what I mean. The line go from the south pole to the north. So the way we draw our maps makes perfect sense and was not an accident.

        Reply
        • You’re wrong on that. Magnetic north keeps changing but or maps are based on earth’s rotational axis (geographic meridian) and not the magnetic meridian, which keeps changing anyway.

          Reply
        • This shows the changing declination:

          Reply
          • Oliver

             /  27th March 2016

            Geographic and magnetic north are basically in same place. Either would give you the same map view.

            Reply
            • Nope. And it depends where you are on the planet.

              Magnetic declination varies both from place to place and with the passage of time. As a traveller cruises the east coast of the United States, for example, the declination varies from 20 degrees west (in Maine) to zero (in Florida), to 10 degrees east (in Texas), meaning a compass adjusted at the beginning of the journey would have a true north error of over 30 degrees if not adjusted for the changing declination.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic_declination

              And it moves by about 2 degrees (depending on where you are) every century.

            • Oliver

               /  27th March 2016

              Which means at one point in time the magnetic poles were aligned with geographical axis.

            • Iceberg

               /  27th March 2016

              If you hold a compass while facing North, you will find the S is pointing at you. S for stupid.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  27th March 2016

              Oliver should know-he’s a cartographer and has worked as one for years.

            • Gezza

               /  27th March 2016

              What’s drawing carts got to do with maps? ๐Ÿ˜Ž

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  27th March 2016

              The best mapmakers are horses, and horses draw carts.

          • Gezza

             /  27th March 2016

            Maps have generally been drawn with the North Pole facing up since about the 16th century it seems, according to this very detailed history. The direction of North & South has been determined by compasses for centuries, and although Magnetic North wanders (so I guess Magnetic South does the same) “true North’s” direction is “locked in” by the Pole Star.

            “Why do maps always show the north as up? For those who donโ€™t just take it for granted, the common answer is that Europeans made the maps and they wanted to be on top. But thereโ€™s really no good reason for the north to claim top-notch cartographic real estate over any other bearing, as an examination of old maps from different places and periods can confirm.”

            IMO it’s just become convention for North to be top in maps because standardisation of latitude, longitude and world-map orientation direction is useful for navigation and quick country location recognition.

            http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/2/maps-cartographycolonialismnortheurocentricglobe.html

            Reply
            • Oliver

               /  27th March 2016

              We should have referendum to change our maps so that we are at the top.

            • Unless you’re suggesting a world referendum – and that might be beyond John key’s powers – that would be a tad futile.

            • Oliver

               /  27th March 2016

              We only have to change the maps in NZ. Who cares what the rest of the world has.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  27th March 2016

              That would be pointless and probably extremely expensive. It would mean that we couldn’t use any atlas that wasn’t printed in NZ. We’d have to print every world map used here, having first reassembled it.

  2. Brown

     /  27th March 2016

    My telescope shows things upside down to avoid and extra mirror with the resulting loss of optical clarity. There is no right way up in space.

    Aliens will see us for sure if they arrive – you don’t travel in time without being able to look closely at a planet’s surface.

    Reply
    • “you donโ€™t travel in time without being able to look closely at a planetโ€™s surface”

      Good to get your perspective on this Brown, I’ve never travelled in time so haven’t had the opportunity to see planet surfaces on approach.

      Reply
      • Brown

         /  27th March 2016

        Think about it. With distances in space as they are you won’t be travelling between star systems without having time travel sorted in some practical way that allows you to get somewhere light years away within a reasonable time. More pure speed, even light speed, is not the answer. If you have that sorted the last 500k’s won’t be a problem.

        Reply
  3. Gezza

     /  27th March 2016

    A thing that fascinates me is how all the landmass has ended up on one side of the earth. If you rotate the globe here you can see what I mean. As the crust is thickest under landmasses and all the continents are on one side I wonder how that affects the physics of earth’s rotation.

    http://www.earthbrowser.com/

    Reply
    • Oliver

       /  27th March 2016

      The whole world is land mass it just that some place a covered with water.

      Reply
      • The whole of the earth is covered by water, it’s just that some bits are less covered than others.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  27th March 2016

          Also, land mass is generally accepted as meaning the parts of the earth’s surface above water Oliver. Land ahoy don’t mean no ocean floor.

          Reply
      • Gezza

         /  27th March 2016

        Yes but crustal thickness varies Oliver. It’s thickest under the continents.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crust_(geology)

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  27th March 2016

          No, Gezza, it isn’t-but it would be too unkind to say where the crustal thickness is thickest, tempting as it is to do so ! ๐Ÿ˜€

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  27th March 2016

            Took me a few secs to get that.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  27th March 2016

              But you did ! ๐Ÿ˜€ I hope that, er, someone else doesn’t ๐Ÿ˜€

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  27th March 2016

              I didn’t mean what you four must have thought I meant….(snort)

            • Wow, talk about shooting yourself in both feet. ๐Ÿ™‚

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  27th March 2016

              I’m sorry to hear that, I hope that you’ll make a full recovery.

    • This map shows how little of the world’s land mass has land at it’s antipodes.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  27th March 2016

        I blame the illuminati for that. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

        Reply
      • Gezza

         /  27th March 2016

        Antipodes are not two standard fixed locations Pete.

        The antipodes of any place on the Earth is the place that is diametrically opposite it, so a line drawn from the one to the other passes through the centre of the Earth and forms a true diameter. For example, the antipodes of New Zealand’s lower North Island lies in Spain. Most of the Earth’s land surfaces have ocean at their antipodes, this being a consequence of most land being in the land hemisphere.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antipodes

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  27th March 2016

          A friend worked with someone who used to say anty-podes (podes one syllable) and the friend had great trouble not saying this himself, as it became stuck in his head ๐Ÿ˜€

          Reply
  4. Kitty Catkin

     /  27th March 2016

    I have Simon Winchester’s book about mapmakers, and he tells the story of the Greek in ancient times who worked out the circumference of the earth by making a shadow at a particular time and working it out from there…and he wasn’t too far out, something like 1/8, I think. Anyway, he must have been a genius.

    I am always impressed by the accuracy of old maps-look at Captain Cook’s maps of NZ. It’s hard enough to draw an accurate scale model of one’s own house, well, it is for me.

    Reply
    • Oliver

       /  27th March 2016

      Cooks maps weren’t that accurate he made many big mistakes like banks island and Stewart peninsula. I’d give him a 3 out of 10 for accuracy. Working out the circumference of the earth is a relatively easy thing to do. It would have first been done in ancient Egypt.

      Reply
      • Pickled Possum

         /  27th March 2016

        @Oliver
        Really Oliver banks island and stewart peninsula … do you just wanna upset Miss…just watch out she doesn’t throw the world Atlas at ya.. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  27th March 2016

          Yes, Oliver, we all know from school that Cook and his colleagues made a few mistakes, but I’d like to see you do half as well given the equipment that they had.

          I’d like to see you working out the world’s circumference with the equipment that the Greek man had.

          Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  27th March 2016

          Eratosthenes was his name and he was a Greek although he may have done his calculation in Egypt. He took the measurement of a particular shadow at a particular time and somehow worked out how much to multiply it by (I can’t find the book)

          How many maps have YOU made, Olio ?

          Reply
        • Pickled Possum

           /  27th March 2016

          Here we go this is from Mr Waynes class very interesting I think once I have translated all the big words hehe some men display a genius that so shocks me not because they are men but because the have the inclination to even study things like shadows, mathematicians must have HUGE brains.
          http://www.mrwaynesclass.com/Kepler/reading/index01.html

          Reply
  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  27th March 2016

    I think you might have trouble grasping Einstein’s relativity, Oliver. Even though it doesn’t derive from our magnetic poles.

    The history of the European planetary exploration in the 16th century is fascinating and particularly interesting for us in the antipodes on the boundary of the Spanish/Portuguese spheres of influence and conflict. The British pirates who used to attack the returning ships to steal their maps and their discoveries paved the way for the later dominance of Britain and the Dutch explorers and colonizers. These were the intellectual property thieves of their times. But the consequences of these conflicts and struggles for supremacy were that so much was kept secret and disguised that we know little of the full extent of those early explorations.

    Reply
    • Oliver

       /  27th March 2016

      Egyptians had the earth mapped out before British and Dutch explorer’s. Egyptians discovered the Americas. The navitive American, aboriginal, Pacific Islanders are all descendants of ancient Egyptians.

      Reply
  6. Iceberg

     /  27th March 2016

    Expect that UT will be on here soon with a theory about how the CIA has been messing with the earth’s magnetic field. There’ll be a YouTube video on it for sure.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  27th March 2016

      Nope, he’s busy over at kiwiblog pushing another conspiracy nutter’s brainfarts on MH370.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  27th March 2016

        I wonder if he believes the story about NASA proving the Biblical story about the sun standing still for a day, thus throwing time out by a day.

        Reply
      • Iceberg

         /  27th March 2016

        Check with Oliver, he survived MH370

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  27th March 2016

          ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

          I thought that it was the Challenger that Oliver survived-my mistake.

          When the astronauts arrived on the moon, he was already there. They named a species of moon insect after him-the Oliver Lunar Tick.

          Reply
  7. Chwaga

     /  27th March 2016

    Quite clearly the maps are drawn upside down. If you look you will see that the south pole should be at the top. Most of the land masses are slowly gravitating to the bottom and in eons all of the land will of settled to the bottom which is the northern hemisphere. That is my theory and I am sticking to it although I may not be here to see it through to fruition

    Reply
  8. Kitty Catkin

     /  27th March 2016

    Oily’s putdowns of people’s achievements are very mean-spirited. Most people, I suspect, would give Cook et al credit for having so much of it right and making a completely recognisable map of NZ, but Oily has to sneer and dwell on the errors. 0/10 for generosity of spirit.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  27th March 2016

      Cook is renowned, and was in his own time, as a skilled and accurate cartographer. It’s amazing just how accurate his maps of the New Zealand coastline are compared to modern day maps. Oliver’s just stirring.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  27th March 2016

        Cook was incredible and so is Oliver, but at the opposite ends of the spectrum.

        A little wooden sailing ship navigating unknown waters contending with weather, hidden rocks and hostile natives speaking unknown languages with primitive instruments drawing maps at the same time as exploring the unknown territory and biosphere. Managing people and equipment dependent entirely on his own resources and what he could find wherever he happened to be.

        Or Oliver …

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  27th March 2016

          If Oliver could’ve only trained Cook’s snipers Cook might still be with us today … ๐Ÿ˜Ž

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  27th March 2016

            Damn it, I’ve blown tea all over the keyboard. You can buy me a new one if it’s been ruined.

            Reply

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