Panorama Images and Horizon’s Curvature

A panorama image is stitched from multiple photos that were taken from different angles, forming a very wide field of view, even 360°×180°, covering every possible angle from the viewer.

Someone has taken a panorama from a high-altitude balloon and made available the results in various projections. Flat-Earthers saw a flat horizon in one of the panorama images and took the wrong conclusion. The horizon will appear flat in a cylindrical or equirectangular projection due to an effect of the projection. The panorama creator also has the panorama in other formats, including an interactive one in the general perspective projection, which shows how it would look from a human eye, and it shows the curvature.

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The Gleason Map

The “Gleason Map” is a map with the azimuthal equidistant projection, centered on the north pole. The Gleason Map is not a scaled-down figure of the Earth, but it is merely a projection of the actual, spherical shape of the Earth, like every other map.

Alexander Gleason —the creator of the map— claimed that the map depicts the shape of the ‘flat Earth’. The majority of the flat-Earth communities adopt this map as ‘the flat-Earth map.’ They are wrong. The map is merely a projection of the spherical shape of the Earth, just like every other map types.

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Map Projection and Distortion

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The Earth is a sphere, a three-dimensional shape. But most of the time, we work with two-dimensional media, including paper, computer displays, televisions, phone screens, whiteboards, etc. To represent the Earth on a two-dimensional medium, it is necessary to transform the curved shape of the Earth’s surface into a planar form using one of the many map projections.

All map projections necessarily introduce distortion into the results. Some flat-Earthers think that distortions are ‘evidence’ of failure of modern science to explain the world. They are wrong.

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Psychological Projection

Why do we believe in conspiracy theories? According to research, one reason is the so-called ‘psychological projection’.

‘Psychological projection’ is a phenomenon where someone denies their attitude or traits and assumes instead that others are doing so. They see their negative qualities in others, even when the negative characteristics are not present in the others being accused.

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