Oh my love for those old Bertin Maps

From time and again my love for the old projection styles comes to abound me. I found out today finally with the generous and kind help of Martin Grandjean that style of maps like the one that I have added below is called Bertin 1953

Agro-ecological zones map of the world
Agro-ecological zones map of the world- Courtsey FAO

This style was really prevalent while making projections in the post world-war era especially in the 50’s and 60’s also incidentally the time when world urbanisation was being for the first time mapped and presented. Organisations inside the UN and affiliates like FAO were publishing these to represent facts, figures and trends on urbanisation, resource availability and consumption etc.

Facts aside I really love the projection style as compared to the really flat (Mercator) ones that are in circulation these days especially the WEF ones.

WEF_mercator maps
Typical WEF Mercator maps in circulation around the web lately.

The problem with this projection which the Bertin overcame was that it was, at the same time as being geographically accurate, was able to convey the polar curvature in a very real sense. The Mercator projection cognitively distort’s ones world view. At this point, I am immediately reminded of ‘the dymaxion map’ by Buckminster Fueller, which being morphologically accurate has its own representation downsides.

The Dymaxion

So, I take it to myself to popularise this projection style again by preparing compelling data in this style and sharing it with the outside world on a weekly basis. Also through my research on GIS forums i have found out that I can the Lambert project style to mimic this.

Watch this space!



2 thoughts on “Oh my love for those old Bertin Maps

  1. I love this projection, it is very dynamic and shows that the earth is not flat!
    It must be understood in its historical context: it is particularly appropriate (and designed for that) to show the two Cold War blocs.

    Liked by 1 person

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