American multinational technology, Google has introduced a new feature to its Maps. The Earth will no longer be displayed as a flat surface when you zoom all the way out, but as a globe.
This change will allow the map to display the Earth accurately.
The company revealed the change on Google Maps via its Twitter feed, saying that with the new 3D Globe Mode, “Greenland’s projection is no longer the size of Africa.” The change is only available on the desktop interface; it’s still flat in its mobile app.
With 3D Globe Mode on Google Maps desktop, Greenland's projection is no longer the size of Africa.
— Google Maps (@googlemaps) August 2, 2018
The change is the recent in a series from the company. In June, Google redesigned its Explore section to make it easier to find restaurants, and an update earlier this week added one’s battery life status to location sharing.
Up until now, Google Maps has used Mercator projection, which projects the planet onto a flat surface. While this style makes it easy to print onto maps and has largely become standardized, it presents a distorted image of the Earth.
Objects around the equator are to scale relative to one another, while objects closer to the poles appear larger than they really are. A good example of this is the relative sizes of Greenland and Africa. On a Mercator map, Greenland appears larger than Africa, when in reality, Africa is 14 times larger.