From the files of “Cartography Oddities”

Some may remember the controversy over a map used in commercial from the Enbridge Corporation promoting the Northern Gateway Pipeline that removed about 1000 sq. kms of islands from Douglas Channel, suggesting that navigation for tankers would be a much simpler task than it would be.


Today, a group called Canada Action tweeted the following map:


Oh my, you say, what a difference in traffic. Norway seems to be okay, so what’s our problem?

You don’t think there might be something strange with these maps too?

Why yes, yes there is.

Using the Distance Measurement Tool of Google Maps the map on the left depicts an area 270km x 200km (or 54000 sq. kms). The map on the right depicts an area 640km x 535km (or 342,400 sq. kms). Do you think if you increase the scale of a map, in this case by a factor of 6, you will see more stuff?

Why yes, yes you will.

The second problem is the map on the left depicts an internal coastal waterway, while the map on the right depicts the open ocean of the North Sea.

So who are Canada Action?

Hard to tell. Especially here.

But rest assured Canada Action does not have an ideological or partisan agenda.

They just stand up for the truth. Just not in comparative map-making.