Earth will now be shown as a globe when a user zooms out on Google Maps. Photo: (AP Photo/Patrick Sison).

DURBAN - Google has updated their web mapping service Google Maps that will show Earth as a globe and not a flat surface when a user zooms all the way out according to The Verge. 

The change was made to allow the map to display more accurately and the change was announced on the Google Maps Twitter feed. According to the tweet from the mapping service with the new 3D Globe Mode the projection of Greenland will no longer be the size of Africa. 


However, the change is currently only available on the desktop interface and it is still on flat on the mobile app. 

Before, Google Maps used a Mercator project that would project the Earth onto a flat surface. While this style makes it easy to print on to maps and has been largely regulated, it displays an image of Earth that is distorted. 

Objects around the Earth’s equator are to scale relative to one another but objects that are around the poles appear bigger than their real size. One example of this is the relative sizes of Africa and Greenland. On Mercator map, Greenland appears to be bigger than Africa when in actual fact Africa is 14 times larger than Greenland. 

According to a Google employee, Google used a Mercator map because it helped maintain the angles of the roads. 

The change from Google is just one of many that were announced in 2018. A few months ago the company redesigned the Explore section to make the process of finding restaurants much simpler. 

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