Map Fail

Ever since I took an Intro to GIS class in my last semester of college, I have started looking at maps a bit more critically and judging the validity and trustworthiness of any given maps. And one I found in some encyclopedias on the school’s computer deserves its own blog post due to it’s extremely poor accuracy.

The first photo is a picture of an SA map, a rather poor map. Find Johannesburg on it. That is not at all close to where Jo’burg is. Where it says Jo’burg is actually about where I live.

Now, I honestly don’t know how you misplace Jo’burg on a map. Ask the next person you see what the capital of SA is and they will probably say Johannesburg. They will be wrong, but as probably the most well-known and largest city in SA, most people have heard of it and think it is the capital.

To get it wrong on a map (in an encyclopedia) is sad. I first thought maybe it was due to the projection, but I don’t think that would mess Jo’burg’s location that much. Jo’burg is right below Pretoria, very close by. But the first map shows Jo’burg out in far Northwest Province, when it is the capital of Gauteng.

The second map shows Jo’burg’s location circled in yellow, my shopping town and where the other map had Jo’burg circled in red, and my December vacation destination circled in purple, just for fun.

Map fail? Yes. That’s like misplacing New York City on a US map…

Johannesburg is way misplaced

Johannesburg is way misplaced

This is where Jo'burg actually is.

This is where Jo’burg actually is.


About Jen Lamos

Christ follower. Writer. Permaculturist. RPCV. Photographer. Gardener. Keeper of Chickens. Daughter of God.

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