## The Polar Azimuthal Equidistant Map is NOT the Flat Earth Map

The azimuthal equidistant map is a projection of spherical Earth on a two-dimensional medium. The map has distortions, like every other type of map.

Flat-Earthers stole the shape of the azimuthal equidistant map and call it the “flat-Earth map.” While the two are identical in shape, they have different characteristics. The map that they call the “flat Earth map” is claimed to be a scaled-down representation of the supposed flat earth. They claim it to be distortion-free.

Some institutions use the azimuthal equidistant map & flat-Earthers incorrectly claim it as an “endorsement” of flat Earth. These maps are azimuthal equidistant maps and not related to flat Earth.

## Gleason Map

The so-called “Gleason Map” is an old map published in the 19th century. The author was a flat-Earther who claimed the map as the “flat Earth map.” In reality, the map is just a normal azimuthal equidistant map centered on the North Pole.

From the map’s patent, we know the author was aware and in full knowledge that the map was just a projection of the spherical Earth, contradictory to the claims in his book.

## Conformal vs Equal-Area Map

All map projections distort Earth’s surface in some way. They attempt to preserve some properties at the expense of other properties. A conformal map preserves shape at the expense of area. On the other hand, an equal-area map preserves area at the expense of shape.

Conspiracy theorists incorrectly claim that maps are designed to lie to us about the real area of countries. In reality, equal-area maps exist if we need a map that preserves area by sacrificing accurate shape.

## Center of the Azimuthal Equidistant Map Projection

Flat-Earthers copied the shape of the azimuthal equidistant map centered on the North Pole and claim it as their “flat-Earth map.” The real azimuthal equidistant map is not the so-called “flat-Earth map, and not necessarily centered on the North Pole.

On the azimuthal equidistant map, all points on the map are at proportionally correct distances from the center point, but only from the center point. Other distances are distorted.

## Distortion of Antarctica on Maps

Antarctica is the fifth-largest continent, but on a Mercator map, it can appear larger than all the other continents combined due to the map’s distortion characteristic.

Flat-Earthers regard such “size discrepancy” as a failure of science to describe the world. In reality, map distortion also causes Antarctica’s huge size compared to other continents in the azimuthal equidistant map which they falsely claim as the so-called “flat-Earth map”.

## Distortion of Greenland on Maps

Greenland is 1/14th the size of Africa. However, in a map with the Mercator projection, it appears the same size due to the distortion characteristics of the Mercator projection.

Flat-Earthers claim the distortion of the Mercator map is a failure of science to describe the world. In reality, distortion is a consequence of flattening a 3D shape into flat 2D media. Distortion also occurs with the azimuthal equidistant map, which is claimed by flat-Earthers as the so-called “flat-Earth map.” All maps have distortions: it is incorrect to assume the azimuthal equidistant map is distortion-free.

## Distortions of the Azimuthal Equidistant Map

The azimuthal equidistant projection is a projection of the spherical Earth. As a result, a map using this projection has distortions in distances, shapes, directions, and areas. Just like the azimuthal equidistant map, all other types of maps have their distortion characteristics.

In the illustration, the eight yellow dots indicate a location 5000 km from the red dot, toward all the cardinal directions and the intermediate directions. We can see that the distances, shapes, directions, and areas are distorted in some way depending on the location on the map.

## Air Map of the World 1943/1945

Flat-Earthers discovered a map titled “Air Map of the World” from 1943, explaining the flight routes during the time. Because the shape is identical to the fictional “flat Earth map,” they incorrectly claimed that it is a flat-Earth map. In reality, it is an azimuthal equidistant map that has distortions, a flattened shape of the spherical Earth on a flat surface, and does not depict the true shape of the Earth.

The exact nature of the map is even explained in a very detailed manner in the map’s description. Unfortunately, in the flat-Earth community, the map is passed around in a very low resolution, and therefore, the explanations become unreadable.

## Day and Night Areas on a Flat Earth

At any given time, there is an equal area of the Earth that is experiencing daytime, and that is having a night time. The reason is that the sun is very far, and it would illuminate a hemisphere of the Earth, and leave the other dark.

If we plot which areas of the Earth that are getting sunlight on an azimuthal equidistant map centered on the north pole, the sun would appear to illuminate a somewhat elliptical area during the northern hemisphere summer, and a lopsided Bat-Signal shaped area during the winter. During the equinox, the sun would appear to illuminate a half-circle area.