Africa in Perspective

I found this map showing Africa in comparison to some rather large countries around the world while thumbing through the latest Kenya Airways in-flight magazine. It’s a particularly helpful visual for when you’re trying to explain how BIG the continent is to those in the Western world.

Africa Map - in Perspective

So, the next time I say that, “No, I really haven’t met your friend __________ before”, even though he was in Africa ‘somewhere’, you’ll know why. :)

19 thoughts on “Africa in Perspective

  1. thakadu

    Nice find Erik, I will certainly show this to my american friends. Although the map gets its point accross it does have a pretty large error: It doesnt show Alaska, yet it includes it in the total for the USA. Alaska covers about 1.7 Million Sqaure kilometers, an area that would easily cover the whole of South Africa and Botswana put together. However Alaska is pretty spread out and when overlayed accross the lower 48 states it stretches further from east to west than the entire lower 48 combined!

  2. bankelele

    One of the first arguments in ‘the Africans’ by Ali Mazrui is that Africa is drawn in maps & atlas in a manner that reduces its size (being at the equator) and exaggerates land masses located in the nothern (greenaland) and southern (australia) poles

  3. Chris Albon

    What I find amusing is that many, including travel shows (Globetrekker) refer only to Africa as a whole rather than by specific countries. Some real world examples found via google:

    -“Africans Are Ready for Bold Change, With Help”
    -“Cry the beloved continent: Africans are poor because they’re poorly governed”
    -“Why Africans Are Starving”
    -“Critical of US Policies, Africans Are Giving Bush Chilly Reception”
    -“Are We Ashamed of Africa?”

  4. HASH

    Good point Chris, I am guilty of using the same type of terminology in writing some of my pieces. I think many of us do that because we know that that’s what people are expecting to see. Even though many of us know Africa as specific countries and people groups with their own cultures and identity, we realize the rest of the world still doesn’t.

  5. thakadu

    Chris, agreed you have a good point, but its not only Africa that suffers from this type of generilization, I have seen very similar statements to the examples you give with “Asians” substituted for “Africans”.

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  8. Russ

    I remember the time we were living in Nairobi and the US bombed Tripoli. We had friends in the States writing to find out if we were okay. Evidently they thought Nairobi and Tripoli were neighbors instead of thousands of kilometers apart.

  9. Ntwiga

    Wow!

    I have a friend who keeps telling me over and over that “Data Visualization” is everything and this is a perfect example of that.

    Great piece of work HAsh. Very very impressive.

    – Steve

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  13. sokari

    I havent read the other comments here but the blurb on the map states “Transposing as many of the worlds OTHER countries” Africa is not a country and this makes me really angry especially as this is the Times. Correction “transposing as many of the worlds countries to see how many fit on the continent of Africa” Is it really that difficult for people to get this!

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