Bizarre Japanese ‘origami’ map has design world in a spin (PHOTO)

© Beawiharta
A Japanese artist has put cartography back on the design map by creating a near perfect chart of the world – a spherical globe that can be un folded into a flat rectangular map without distorting the size of continents or oceans.

Known as an “area-equal map,” the AuthaGraph provides a new solution to the 447-year-old problem plaguing the world of mapping.

Architect Hajime Narukawa claimed the prestigious Good Design Award for his design, which, according to judges, “faithfully represents all oceans, continents including the neglected Antarctica.”

It bests the popular 1569 Mercator projection – map which is known to exaggerate the size of landmasses such as Greenland and incorrectly displays the magnitude of the African continent.

The AuthaGraph is split up into 96 regions combined in the form of a sphere that can be unfolded into a tetrahedron and a flat rectangular map. It’s this ability that has some people likening it to the ancient Japanese art of origami.

“This original mapping method can transfer a spherical surface to a rectangular surface as a map of the world while maintaining correctly proportions in areas,” according to the Good Design Award website.

But the AuthaGraph isn’t absolutely perfect. According to the Good Design Awards: “The map needs a further step to increase a number of subdivision for improving its accuracy to be officially called an area-equal map.”