The map of the world that we have in our head is the result of our economic and political history. The vast majority of all world maps are ‘cylindrical projections,’ such as Mercator and Miller. As a result, on most world maps, Europe is on ‘the right side of the middle’ and the USA is positioned on the upper left side. The North Pole can hardly be seen, whereas the South Pole is mostly left out completely or looks like yoghurt in a bowl. The vertical centre line, called the ‘Prime meridian’ goes through London. (On Asian maps the centreline is often shifted.)

Mapmakers, who predominantly came from the western world, have told us what the ‘relevant parts’ of our world are and which cities are worth mentioning or underlining. On a world map New York will never be left out, but an ‘unknown’ metropolis like Lahore or Dongguan will. They are obviously less important.

True, precise and correct maps

Lucas Verweij is a designer & cartographer who concentrates solely on world-maps. He projects untraditional maps of our planet. Although his maps often appear as a fantasy, they are all true, precise and correct. All of the maps shown here are just as valid as regular world maps, they carry the same amount of distortion. The maps make you wonder whether they are fantasy or real.

Question the dogmas in mapping

To trigger your fantasy, these maps question the dogmas in mapping surrounding typography, colour, scale, graticule, projection, mapcentre and choice of data. These maps are made with other assumptions to show that when there are infinite ways to project the world. If you use your fantasy, infinite portraits of the world can be made. Every different projection has different social and political implications.

Here shown are 4 series of 4 maps that all revolve around a certain theme- In ‘Rotating Mercator’ the world is turned transversal in 22 degree steps. In ‘Toponyms‘ the map is flooded with city names. On one map cities with M and N are drawn as if they are more important than others. One series shows the 1000 mile-zone around the equator and its representation and one is made with unusual (deep sea) data.