Your correspondent has a reasonable grasp of the world’s geography, at least insofar as the relative locations of the world’s nations. But prisoner of a worldview that has been framed by a lifetime of consulting traditional maps, his sense of scale has been more-than-a-little out of whack… Mercator’s cylindrical projection— first adopted for its ability to represent lines of constant course (rhumb lines or loxodromes) as straight segments for nautical navigational purposes, now standard– distorts one’s sense of relative scale. For example, on a traditional map, Africa appears not much larger than China or the U.S.
Now, by way of corrective, Kai Krause has scaled countries by their area (in square kilometers) and fit them into Africa’s borders:
for a larger version, click the image above, or here, then click again
(TotH to Flowing Data)
As we discipline ourselves to emulate Ed Sullivan in saying “really big,” we might recall that it was on this date in 1952 that British Governor Evelyn Baring declared a state of emergency in the colony of Kenya and began arresting hundreds of suspected leaders of the Mau Mau Uprising, including Jomo Kenyatta, the future first President of Kenya.