Ok, I’m probably not the first one to write a post about falsehoods programmers believe about maps, but I still remember reading “Falsehoods programmers believe about names” and “Falsehoods programmers believe about time“, and thinking “there should be a post like that about maps”. So, go ahead, read those two posts to get to know the style of a post like this and then read on here.
- All coordinates are in “Latitude/Longitude” (Why is this false?)
- If you know the “Latitude/Longitude” you can be certain of exactly where you are
- “Spatial is special”
- The earth is round (Why is this false?)
- The earth is ellipsoidal (Why is this false?)
- The GPS-satellites know where I am
- There is a single, right, map projection
- Scale numbers works on a screen (Why is this false?)
- There are no good alternatives to Google Maps
- Web Mercator works for all purposes
- The shortest path between two points is a straight line
- All programmers agree on the ordering of latitude and longitude pairs
- Given a paper map I can always digitize and georeference it
- My background map will be better if I cache it, always!
- GIS software is always expensive
- The whole world is mapped, thouroughly
- Looking up a street address and get it’s position is easy
- Offline maps is as easy as Goole Maps
That’s what I’ve come up with this far, I might fill in something here when I think about it. Comments? Additions? Any errors? Want citations? Well, the comment section is open, so go ahead!