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Curriculum & Resources: Maps That Stretch the Mind

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Did you know that Africa is 14 times larger than Greenland? Or that the continental U.S. is actually smaller than Brazil? If you didn’t it’s with good reason—most of us learned our geography from a map that was designed for navigation, not for area accuracy.

Every map is out of proportion in some way—it’s impossible to transfer a sphere to two dimensions without distortion—and each mapmaker chooses what to portray, depending on their agenda. ODT Maps’ mission is to teach people to see the world from a broader, more inclusive perspective, resulting in maps that show countries for their true size, and others with Australia up top—and why not?

ODT Maps provides maps and resources to help people see that there are many ways to see the world—and a need for many maps!


Peters World MapPeters World Map

The Peters World Map is an equal-area map, created to show the actual size of countries in comparison to each other. The exact shape of the land masses is off as a result. Ask your students what is gained with area-accuracy maps.




Click here to download a free Peters Map for your classroom.
LEARN: Background of the Peters World Map.
EXPLORE: The teacher’s guide for the Many Ways to See the World DVD. We recommend using the questions on page 3 for a Peters World Map discussion.


ODT Population Map

Population Map

This map shakes up the  concept of a traditional-use map by measuring people instead of area. Each square represents a million people. From this "human" vantage point, a  different set of countries emerge as the largest. Use this map to start a conversation with your students about globalization, how value is measured, and how we are connected to populations across the globe.

Click here to download the Population Map.
LEARN: Background of the Population Map.
VISIT: ODT If the world were a village statistics to raise global awareness.

Other Resources


ODT Maps was thrust into the spotlight when the award-winning TV show West Wing asked for permission to feature its Peters Projection on an episode. ODT’s mission is to teach people to see the world from a broader, more inclusive perspective. The nuts-about-maps company offers dynamic visual representations of the world, pushing all viewers to think about the story behind the map.

YES! Archive


  • Mapping Social Change :: Chile
    8 Hotspots of Progress. Explore this interactive map of the social movements, new leaders, and cross-border alliances that are transforming Latin America.
  • My Journey Home
    This documentary follows writer Faith Adiele, journalist Andrew Lam, and brothers Armando and Carlos Peña as they travel to their ancestral homelands to uncover the impact of global history on American individuals and society.
  • YES! Recommends: Global Oneness Project
    YES! recommends the Global Oneness Project for their inspiring and richly produced resources that explore how the radically simple notion of interconnectedness can be lived in our increasingly complex world

The above resources accompany the December 2011 YES! Education Connection Newsletter

Ednews Sept 2011 screenshot


READ NEWSLETTER: REAL Heroes for Your Students :: Teaching Teens Empathy

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