Google pointed out the change in Google Maps in a tweet saying that with new 3D Globe Mode, Greenland's projection is no longer the size of Africa
Google has introduced a new update to Google Maps in which the Earth appears as a globe instead of a flat surface when you zoom all the way out on the desktop version. This change allows Google Maps to accurately display the shape of the Earth.
Google pointed out the change in Google Maps in a tweet saying that with new 3D Globe Mode, “Greenland’s projection is no longer the size of Africa."
With 3D Globe Mode on Google Maps desktop, Greenland's projection is no longer the size of Africa.
Until now, Google has used a Mercator projection, which projects the earth on a flat surface. This allows an easier representation of earth in two dimensions, but suffers with inaccurate scaling of areas. This means regions around the equator appear properly scaled but the areas around the poles appear larger than they actually are. As a result Greenland appears larger than Africa, but in reality it is 14 times smaller. In fact, Canada, Alaska, Sweden, Norway and Finland – all look larger than they actually are.
A Google employee gave the reason for adapting the Mercator projection on a forum. According to him, the Mercator projection helps preserve angles of roads so that latitudes in high places meet at the angles on the map.
However, Google Earth, another service by Google that renders a 3D representation of the Earth, uses the globe projection.
If you wish to try this feature out, open Google Maps in your desktop browser and scroll all the way out of the map.
This new feature comes after a series of changes introduced by Google in its Google Maps app. Last week, an update added battery percentage status to its location sharing feature.