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As part of the SAP Labs Network team, I often get asked how big this or that Labs is, where they are, in which countries, etc. Quite often I present the Labs presentation where all our Labs around the globe are shown which leads to some interesting conversations afterwards regarding GDP, population, country sizes, etc. The conversations are interesting, becuase they sometimes come about as a result of the map that I’m using. For example, in most maps India seems smaller than Scandinavia and Greenland is bigger than Africa. But can this be? The first step for most of us is to head to Wikipedia to check out a map like this one:

Wikipedia_mercator_v1.jpg

Bingo, the answers “seem” clear: Scandinavia appears slightly bigger than India, and Greenland and Africa are more or less equal in size right?. But if you look to real square km numbers of the countries you immediately start to scratch your head in wonder: India is ~4 times bigger than Scandinavia! Africa is ~ 14 times bigger than Greenland and even India is ~1,5 times bigger than Greenland! So to get the right answers about country size it is important to look at the “right” map; a map where the total square area of the countries are correctly displayed (2nd map from Wikipedia):

Wikipedia_Eckert_v1.jpg

On the other hand, using such a map can lead people into thinking the projector settings for the presentation are wrong or that somehow the .ppt formatting is out-of-whack ;-). So it’s important, as with so many topics in life & business, to choose the context wisely. Other, “cooler” views of the world, other than showing geographical sizes, are maps relating to GDP and Population which you can find here: GDP Map | Population Map

Viewing the world in such a way helps us understand the world a bit better … it’s as “simple” as using the right map 🙂

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