Most of us never realize it, but it turns out that transforming a three-dimensional globe into a flat, rectangular map results in some serious inaccuracies. Depending on where the map focuses, some countries and continents may appear much larger or smaller relative to other landmasses than they actually are. It’s a problem that’s vexed cartographers for centuries, but a new map featured in Japanese textbooks has made things just a little more accurate.

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