Australian “Down-Under” Map of the World
DOWN-UNDER Map particulars: This map is not altogether serious in intent, but it nonetheless helps to underline that what is at issue here is not geography but culture, or, more precisely, that geographical views themselves are visible manifestations of culture. The \Down-Under" map reverses the long-standing Western convention that the top should represent the north. That this practice is only a convention is clear from maps mentioned earlier, from medieval Europe or from ancient China. It is good to be reminded of assumptions that were previously invisible because, only then, can we discover how they may have channeled our perceptions or our thinking.
This Australian map, however, undercuts its own primary intention to expose
conventions of habitual Western cartography. Because this map employs the bad old
Mercator projection, it perpetuates the downplaying of the Southern Hemisphere. So
Australia, along with the rest of the Southern Hemisphere, gets no closer to its true
proportional size than in the USA Mercator-projection map we just looked at. Still worse,
Antarctica does not even appear: surely a mistake for anyone interested in the future of
Australia over the next century or so.