The world turned upside down
Dyer, Mick - Oxford Cartographers, 2005
Tile Hobo-Dyer Equal Area Projection
All printed world maps we see show a distortion of the true shape and size of the earth. This is not a deliberate plot on behalf of the map-makers, but stems from the impossibility of representing a spherical surface on a flat piece of paper.
You need only peel an orange and try to flatten it to verify the principle - the peel will not lie flat without being broken into small pieces.
Cartographers have long sought solutions to this problem. The way that the globe is transferred to paper is called a projection. In the 16th century. the mapmaker Gerardus Mercator (1512-94) developed the Mercator Projection which sought to preserve fidelity of direction for navigators so that bearings taken from the map would be correct compass bearings on a journey. Unfortunately the result exaggerates scale so much
that high latitudes become far too large. China. for example, appears much smaller than Greenland. whereas in reality it is 4½ times larger.
It soon becomes clear that whatever principle is used. the preservation of all the qualities on the globe - fidelity of area, distance, direction, and shape, cannot all be achieved on a world projection. Most projections are a compromise, where none of the qualities is totally preserved but a balance is struck.
The process of globalisation encourages us to focus on faraway parts of the world that were once considered unimportant. In order to gain a balanced appreciation of all regions, a new projection has been developed which preserves the property of equal area, that is, all countries are the correct size in relation to one another. This is the Hobo-Dyer Projection. It is still based on a cylinder, but in such a way that shapes are fairly correct up to about 45 degrees. At higher latitudes, the shapes are progressively flattened to compensate for the fact that the lines of longitude do not come to a point at the poles. Another equal area projection, called the Peters Projection, uses a similar principle but shape is less consistent in lower latitudes. Other commonly used projections, such as the Robinson Projection, usually fail to preserve equality of area, shape, angle or distance but offer a compromise between these properties.
The Hobo-Dyer Projection allows the display of geographic data, whether topographic or thematic. without scale bias in any region. The loss of true shape polewards of about 45 degrees is a small price to pay for the preservation of equal area.
via: Norman B. Leventhal Map Center