Redditor zaaakk> started a simple project, in which he asked 30 people to draw the world map from their memory. Now, unless these 30 individuals were all cartographers, we could assume that the results of this experiment would be less than ideal.
After getting back the drawings from the participants, he digitally merged the results to make a mock-up world map. In this world made from memories, we would no longer have South East Asia, no more United Kingdom, no more Alaska, no more Greenland, and no more New Zealand. Also, screw the penguins! No one even bothered to include Antarctica. And how did Mexico and the entire African continent get so fat?
Zaaakk did this funny experiment back in the summer of 2012 at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor campus, sampling mostly from 18-22 year old males and females. He says on his Reddit page that he’s pretty sure all the participants were American, except one Italian guy.
If you’re wondering why Italy is so detailed, it’s not because of that one Italian guy. Zaaakk says, ‘Also, to clear up confusion about the bottom image – it’s a mockup, not an exact replica of the real result. No, nobody drew East Asia or Italy that well, I just aligned them with the merged map and left the details because those areas were very ambiguous’.
Check out the individual results below to see if any of the participants have a future in cartography.