The 1st photograph of all Earth: 50 years on, Blue Marble still inspires

Dec 21, 2019
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Interesting background of this photo, but a bit of 2022 moralizing stands out as a little ridiculous. Yes it was significant that the "Blue Marble" showed Earth without its artificial political boundaries or the latitude and longitude graticule lines. And there's nothing wrong with the fact that Africa happened to be prominant or recognizeable in the photo.

But it is not "eurocentric mapping practice" that tends to reduce the relative size of Africa on most maps, but simply the inevitable distortion that must occur wghen one puts a speherical globe on a flat map. There are various methods that cause less distortion, but they never developed the broad acceptance of the Mercator projection, which was more useful for navigation since a straight line on it shows the path a vessel will follow on a fixed compass heading. It had less to do with some sense of European superiority than with the fact that maps were brought into wide use by cultures that had the technology and the inititative to travel the world.

To read some kind of moral failing into this is silly. Concentrate on the science and leave the wokeness alone.
 

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