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为什么说所有的世界地图都是错的 – 译学馆
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为什么说所有的世界地图都是错的

Why all world maps are wrong

好吧 我们开始吧
All right, here we go.
如果我想把这个地球仪变成一张扁平的地图
If I want to turn this globe into a flat map,
我接下来要把它切开
I’m going to cut it open.
为了让这个地球仪看上去更接近于平铺在地上的矩形
In order to get this globe to look anything close to a rectangle lying flat.
我要在几个地方把它切开 把它伸展开以便这些国家不会看上去摇晃不稳
I’ve had to cut it in several places. I’ve had to stretch it so that the countries are certain not to look all wonky.
尽管这样 还是几乎不可能使它平铺在地上
And even still, it’s almost impossible to get it to lie flat.
这就是地图制造者的永恒困境 一个地球的表面不能
And that right there is the eternal dilemma of map makers: The surface of a sphere cannot
被表示成一个平面 如果没有某种形式的畸变
be represented as a plane without some form of distortion.
这一点很早之前被此人在数学上证明出来
That was mathematically proved by this guy long time ago.
自从16世纪左右 数学家们已经着手创造可以将地球仪转变成
Since around 1500s, mathematicians have set about creating algorithms that would translate
某种平面的算法
the globe into something flat.
为此 他们使用了一种被称作投影的过程
To do this, they use a process called projection.
流行的矩形地图使用圆柱投影
Popular rectangular maps use a cylindrical projections.
想象一下把一个理论上的圆筒放置在地球仪外侧并把球体上每个点
Imagine putting a theoretical cylinder over the globe and projecting each point of the
都投影到圆筒的表面
sphere onto the cylinder’s surface.
展开这个圆筒 你会得到一张扁平的矩形地图
Unroll the cylinder, and you have a flat, rectangular map.
但是你也可以把地球仪投影到其他的物体上 地图制造者用来
But you could also project the globe onto other objects, and the map used by map makers
把地球仪投影其上的地图一旦平展开来 也会影响到地图看上去的样子
to project the globe will affect the way the map looks once it’s all flattened out.
这里有个很大的问题 这些投射中的每一个都是
And here’s the big problem: Every one of these projections comes with trade offs in
在形状 距离 方向 和陆地面积的权衡之下的结果
shape, distance, direction and land area.
特定的地图投影可以或是很有误导性或是非常有用 那取决于
Certain map projections can be either misleading or very helpful depending on what you are
你使用它来做什么
using them for.
举个例子
Here’s an example.
这张地图叫做墨卡托投影
This map is called the Mercator projection.
如果你是美国人 你很可能已经在学校学习过这种地图
If you’re American, you probably studied this map in school.
这也是谷歌地图使用的投影
It’s also the projection that Google Maps uses.
墨卡托投影由于这几个原因而受欢迎
The Mercator projection is popular for a couple of reasons.
首先 它通常会保持各个国家的形状
First, it generally preserves the shape of countries.
地球仪上的巴西和墨卡托投影上的巴西有着相同的形状
Brazil on the globe has the same shape as Brazil on the Mercator projection.
但是墨卡托投影的最初目的是导航 它保存了方向
But the original purpose of the Mercator projection was navigation — it preserves direction,
这是一件大事 如果你试图仅仅使用罗盘在海上导航
which is a big deal if you try to navigate the ocean with only a compass.
这样设计可使地图上两点间的连线提供精确的角度
It was designed so that a line drawn between two points on the map would provide the exact
以便按照罗盘指示可以在这两个位置之间航行
angle to follow on a compass to travel between those two points.
如果我们回头看地球仪 你可以看到这条线并非最短的路线
If we go back to the globe, you can see that this line is not shortest route.
但是至少它提供了一种简单可靠的在海上导航的方式
But at least it provides a simple, reliable way to navigate across the ocean.
杰拉杜斯·墨卡托 在十六世纪创立了墨卡托投影方式 他能够
Gerardus Mercator, who created the projection in the 16th century, was able to preserve
通过改变纬线间的距离并使之拉直 创立一个直角网格
direction by varying the distance between the latitude lines and also making them straight,
从而可以将方向保存下来
creating a grid of right angles.
但是那也造成了一些其他的问题
But that created some other problems.
墨卡托没有考虑到的是尺寸的表示方法
Where the Mercator fails is its representation of size.
看看和格陵兰岛相比之下非洲的大小
Look at the size of Africa as compared to Greenland.
在墨卡托地图上 它们看上去大小差不多
On the Mercator map they look about the same size.
但是如果你看一下地球仪上格陵兰岛的真实大小 你会发现它
But if you look at a globe for Greenland’s true size, and you’ll see it’s way smaller
比非洲小了很多
than Africa.
事实上相差14倍
By a factor of 14 in fact.
如果我们在地球仪上放置一些大小相等的圆点 之后将它们投影到墨卡托地图上
If we put a bunch of dots onto the globe that are all the same size, and then project that onto the Mercator
我们会得到这样的结果
map, we would end up with this.
这些圆圈仍然保持原来的形状 但是接近两极的那些 面积被扩大了
The circles retain their round shape but are enlarged so that they get closer to the poles.
一个现代评论认为 这种变形保持了欧洲统治南半球的
One modern critique of this is that the distortion perpetuates imperialist attitude of European
帝国主义态度
domination over the southern hemisphere
墨卡托投影培养了长达数世纪的欧洲的帝国主义态度
“The Mercator projection has fostered European imperialist attitudes for centuries
并产生了对第三世界的种族偏见
and created a ethnic bias against the third world.”
真的这样吗?
“Really?”
所以如果你想看到更精确地反映陆地面积的地图 你可以使用
So if you want to see a map that more accurately displays land area, you can use the Gall-Peters
高尔彼得斯投影 它被称为等面积地图
projection. This is called an equal-area map.
现在看看格陵兰岛和非洲
Look at Greenland and Africa now.
对面积所进行的比较更为精确
The size comparison is accurate.
比墨卡托投影的效果好多了
Much better than the Mercator.
但是很明显国家的形状完全被扭曲了
But it’s obvious now that the country shapes are totally distorted.
还是那些圆点 我们看看这种投影方式如何在保存面积大小的同时
Here are those dots again so that we can see how the projection preserves area
完全扭曲了它们的形状
while totally distorting shape.
上世纪60年代末发生的一件事情会完全改变地图制作的目的
Something happened in the late 60s that would change the whole purpose of mapping and the
以及我们对于投影的看法
way that we think about projections.
围绕地球运行的卫星开始把位置和导航信息发送给
Satellites orbiting our planet started sending location and navigation data
世界各地微小的接收单元
to little receiver units all around the world.
如今 海军导航系统中的运行卫星
Today, obiting satellites of the navy navigation satellite system
正日以继夜地工作 将圆形空间中的超精确的位置信息
revive around the clock, ultra-precise position fixes
传递给任何天气状况下各地接收单元
round space to units everywhere in any kind of weather.
这种全球定位系统消灭了纸质地图在航海和航空方面
This global positioning system wiped out the need for paper maps as a means of navigating
作为导航工具的需求
both the sea and the sky.
地图投影这种选择越来越不再是一种导航必需品
Map projection choices became less about navigational imperatives and
更多的是美学 设计 以及做展示这些方面的应用
more about easthetic, design, and presentation.
墨卡托投影 在前GPS导航时代曾一度是重要的工具
The Mercator projection, that once vital tool of pre-GPS navigation
现在却被那些认为它有误导性的制图师丢弃一旁
was shunned by cartographers who now said as misleading.
但尽管如此 大多数的地图工具 比如说谷歌地图 仍然在使用墨卡托投影
But even still most web mapping tools like Google maps use the Mercator.
这是因为墨卡托投影保存形状和角度的能力可以使得
This is because the Mercator’s ability to preserve shape and angles makes
近距离的城市街景看上去更精确 地图上的90度左转弯也同样是
close-up views of cities more accurate — a 90 degree left turn on the map is a 90 degree
当你在街道上开车时的90度左转弯
left turn on the street that you’re driving down.
当你近距离观看时 变形可以减少到最小
The distortion is minimal when you close up.
但是在世界地图尺度上 制图师的确使用墨卡托投影
But on a world map scale, cartographers really use the Mercator
大多数现代制图师选定了许多种类的的非矩形投影
Most modern cartographers have settled on a variety of non-rectangular projections that
这些投影在形状和尺寸的扭曲方面有不同的效果
split the difference between the distorting either size or shape.
1998年 国家地图协会采纳了温克尔三重投影
In 1998 The National Geographic Society adopted The Winkel Tripel Projection
因为它可以很好地平衡大小和形状方面的精确程度
because its pleasant balance between size and shape accuracy.
但是事实仍然如此 并不存在正确的投影方式
But the fact remains, that there is no right projection.
制图师和数学家创造了一个包含各种投影方式的巨大文库
Cartographers and mathematicians have created a huge library of available projections,
每一种投影都有观看地球的全新视角 每一种投影都用于不同的任务
each with the new perspective on the planet, and each useful for a different task.
最好的观看地球的方式就是去看一个地球仪
The best way to see the earth is to look at a globe.
但是只要我们使用平面地图 我们就不得不去权衡不同的投影方式
But as long as we use flat maps, we have to deal with the tradeoffs of projections.
而且记住这一点 并不存在正确的解答
And just remember, there’s no right answer.
如果你自己想玩一玩墨卡托投影的话
If you yourself want to poke fun of the Mercator projection,
那么你可以前往thetruesizeof.com这个网站
you can do so by going to thetruesizeof.com
这个网站是一个有趣的工具 它可以如你所要求的那样在地图上
which is a fun tool that lets you to drag around whatever country you want
拖拽任何一个国家 并可以看到因位置不同而引起的扭曲效果
around the map and see how it’s distorted depending on where it is.
而且我想对麦克·博斯托克说声感谢
Also I want to say a big thanks to Mike Bostock,
他在地图投影方面提供的开放资源极大地为这个视频的制作提供了帮助
whose open source project done map projections with the huge help of the video.
在描述方面这些事情做的非常完美
how perfectly for both of the things done the with the description.

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