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Google Maps has been an incredible resource, especially when traveling. You can quickly and easily find points of interest, get directions on how to get there (including public transit schedules), and get a "real world" look at the place through Street View. It's amazing. But it has always suffered from the same problem that all 2D maps have: it's unrealistic. And now Google Maps has changed to fix that.

I won't go into the more complex discussion of why 2D map projections can never and will never be 100% accurate. There are people far smarter than I am who can explain it much more eloquently. But we have to know that a 2D representation of a 3D object will always be lacking something.

The world map that most of us are familiar with utilizes the Mercator projection. This retains the right shape of land masses, but it throws proportions way out of whack. That's why so many of us grew up thinking Greenland is the same size of Africa, when in fact it is many multitudes smaller. Greenland is about 836,000 square miles, whereas the African continent is 11.73 million square miles.

So, Google Maps has taken a shot at all the Flat Earthers out there. When you hop over to Google Maps, everything will look "flat" like it has before. When you start to zoom out, though, eventually the map will give way to a 3D "globe" view instead. In Google Map's own tweeting words, "Greenland's projection is no longer the size of Africa."



Of course, we could have always enjoyed this view by way of Google Earth, but now it's built into the main Google Maps interface too. For now, the "Globe Mode" is only available on desktop and will work across all major browsers. It has not yet been extended to mobile, but imagine that update is somewhere in the pipeline.

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