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New Equal Area Map Kicked Up a Notch
ODTmaps -- Innovative Maps - new ways to see the world ODTmaps -- Innovative Maps - new ways to see the world
Amherst, MA
Thursday, December 4, 2014

Mead Museum Equal Area South-up Map

The Hobo-Dyer map, originally designed by cartographers and social justice advocates as a two-sided desktop map in 2001, was first published by ODTmaps at 11"x17" in August of 2002.  See: http://odtmaps.com/detail.asp_Q_product_id_E_HDP-11x17  The map was unique in that it was printed with North-on-top (and Africa in the center) on one side, and with South-on-top (and Pacific-Ocean centered) on the reverse side, resulting in an intriguing comparison of perspectives. The map was supported with a host of free on-line teacher-resources at http://odtmaps.com/free_maps/  and included 8 thumbnail panels with comparisons to other map projections http://odtmaps.com/behind_the_maps/hobo-Dyer_map/hobo-dyer-panels.asp  It was immediately hailed as a "perspective-shattering" map.

Within months, it attracted the attention of human rights advocacy groups worldwide and was selected to display the work of the Carter Center when President Jimmy Carter received the Nobel Peace Prize on December 10th 2002 in Oslo, Norway where the map was used with the more customary North-on-top orientation. See: http://odtmaps.com/detail.asp?product_id=HDP-11x17&Contents=TAB3

Later, in 2005, New Internationalist social justice magazine in the UK teamed up with Oxford Cartographers to publish their own version of the map at an enlarged size of 33" wide. The New Internationalist Hobo-Dyer was printed in the UK and was available only as a paper folded format.  See: http://odtmaps.com/detail.asp_Q_product_id_E_HDP-NI-21x33-F  The publishers were able to provide laminated versions at several hundred dollars per copy…beyond the reach of all but the most affluent clients in education and business.

One of the institutions who wanted a seven-foot wide laminated version of the Hobo-Dyer map was the Mead Art Museum which houses the art collection of Amherst College. It was to be hung in one of their galleries called "A Global View,"  featuring artifacts spanning several thousand years. In order to challenge assumptions about power and dominance, an entire wall is dedicated to the largest Hobo-Dyer equal-area map ever produced...oriented with south-on-top! The map was customized to the Museum's exacting color specifications so the image would complement the artifacts in the gallery. The original Hobo-Dyer map, has a bright color scheme designed for the K-12 classroom to teach world geography. Katrina Greene, former curatorial fellow at the Mead Art Museum, worked to select color changes that would integrate with the fascinating collection of historical artifacts. Greene worked over several weeks with Oxford Cartographers in the UK to meet the exhibit's exacting color motif.  

A column of text accompanies the map on the gallery wall, which explains the ways in which this  provocative world map, was "commissioned by Amherst-based map publisher ODT and was designed by British cartographer Mick Dyer. … the Hobo-Dyer projection and its South-Up variant argue that maps are inherently subjective. More than factual charts of our environment, maps shape our worldview." The college felt that it was imperative to treat all countries fairly and thus narrowed the selection of the "map projection" to only equal-area maps. They then further narrowed the choices down to two finalists: the Peters-equal-area-map (made famous by the West Wing television show featuring the map) and the more recent Hobo-Dyer. In the end, the Hobo-Dyer won the day.

"This map allows Mead visitors to challenge their preconceptions," said Elizabeth Barker, former museum director and chief curator of the exhibit. "This is what a successful museum aims to accomplish."  The Museum's debut of the map, and ODT's presentation at the opening is discussed at: https://www.amherst.edu/museums/mead/schedule/2010/hobodyermap

The map is now available, mass-produced at modest prices ($17- $38), and perfectly sized at 36" wide for classroom use, or for framing at home or office. See all the formats and options published at ODTmaps at http://odtmaps.com/detail.asp_Q_product_id_E_Mead-HOBO-special-14.

Ann Hopkins, ODT maps' education director, says "This map has challenged both adults and children to adjust their long-held views of what the world really looks like. We've had many requests for a larger affordable Hobo-Dyer map. Now our new version is available sized to fit in stock poster frames. We're so pleased to have this map in time for holiday shoppers."

ODT publishes world map images that teach people to see the world from a broader, more inclusive perspective. Their maps, books and DVDs are used in Media Literacy programs, as well as Social Studies and Geography programs worldwide. They publish the "What's Up? South!" world map, the Hobo-Dyer world map, the Population map, the Peters Map, as well as books (Seeing Through Maps and How Maps Change Things) and DVDs (including Many Ways to See the World and Arno Peters: Radical Map, Remarkable Man).  Earth Day Network offers the Many Ways film on-line gratis at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmfglsniX_k

From ODT's origins of providing assistance to human resource departments to now offering new and exciting visual representations of the world through unique maps, ODT's mission of honoring differences and teaching people to see the world from a broader, more inclusive perspective remains at the core of all ODT activities.
Reach us toll-free from the USA or Canada at 800-736-1293.
Visit our web site of unique world views at www.odtmaps.com
Reach us via email - odtstore@odt.org - or by SKYPE at ODTinc

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Name: Bob Abramms
Group: manywaystoseetheworld.org
Dateline: Amherst, MA United States
Direct Phone: 413-835-1062
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