New Equal Area Map Kicked Up a Notch

The Hobo-Dyer map was originally designed by cartographers and social justice advocates in 2001. It attracted the attention of human rights advocacy groups worldwide and displayed the work of President Carter when he received the Nobel Peace Prize. In 2010 the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College produced a huge seven-foot wide map for one of their galleries. Now that same map at 36” wide is available to the public at modest prices in a variety of formats.

Amherst, MA, December 05, 2014 --( The Hobo-Dyer map, originally designed by cartographers and social justice advocates as a two-sided desktop map in 2001, was first published by ODTmaps at 11”x17” in August of 2002. See: The map was unique in that it was printed with North-on-top (and Africa in the center) on one side, and with South-on-top (and Pacific-Ocean centered) on the reverse side, resulting in an intriguing comparison of perspectives. The map was supported with a host of free on-line teacher-resources at and included 8 thumbnail panels with comparisons to other map projections

It was immediately hailed as a “perspective-shattering” map.

Within months, it attracted the attention of human rights advocacy groups worldwide and was selected to display the work of the Carter Center when President Jimmy Carter received the Nobel Peace Prize on December 10th 2002 in Oslo, Norway where the map was used with the more customary North-on-top orientation. See:

Later, in 2005, New Internationalist social justice magazine in the UK teamed up with Oxford Cartographers to publish their own version of the map at an enlarged size of 33” wide. The New Internationalist Hobo-Dyer was printed in the UK and was available only as a paper folded format. See:

The publishers were able to provide laminated versions at several hundred dollars per copy…beyond the reach of all but the most affluent clients in education and business.

One of the institutions who wanted a seven-foot wide laminated version of the Hobo-Dyer map was the Mead Art Museum which houses the art collection of Amherst College. It was to be hung in one of their galleries called "A Global View," featuring artifacts spanning several thousand years. In order to challenge assumptions about power and dominance, an entire wall is dedicated to the largest Hobo-Dyer equal-area map ever produced...oriented with south-on-top! The map was customized to the Museum's exacting color specifications so the image would complement the artifacts in the gallery. The original Hobo-Dyer map, has a bright color scheme designed for the K-12 classroom to teach world geography. Katrina Greene, former curatorial fellow at the Mead Art Museum, worked to select color changes that would integrate with the fascinating collection of historical artifacts. Greene worked over several weeks with Oxford Cartographers in the UK to meet the exhibit's exacting color motif.

A column of text accompanies the map on the gallery wall, which explains the ways in which this provocative world map, was “commissioned by Amherst-based map publisher ODT and was designed by British cartographer Mick Dyer... the Hobo-Dyer projection and its South-Up variant argue that maps are inherently subjective. More than factual charts of our environment, maps shape our worldview.” The college felt that it was imperative to treat all countries fairly and thus narrowed the selection of the “map projection” to only equal-area maps. They then further narrowed the choices down to two finalists: the Peters-equal-area-map (made famous by the West Wing television show featuring the map) and the more recent Hobo-Dyer. In the end, the Hobo-Dyer won the day.

“This map allows Mead visitors to challenge their preconceptions,” said Elizabeth Barker, former museum director and chief curator of the exhibit. “This is what a successful museum aims to accomplish.” The Museum’s debut of the map, and ODT’s presentation at the opening is discussed at:

The map is now available, mass-produced at modest prices ($17- $38), and perfectly sized at 36” wide for classroom use, or for framing at home or office. See all the formats and options published at ODTmaps at

Ann Hopkins, ODT maps' education director, says "This map has challenged both adults and children to adjust their long-held views of what the world really looks like. We’ve had many requests for a larger affordable Hobo-Dyer map. Now our new version is available sized to fit in stock poster frames. We’re so pleased to have this map in time for holiday shoppers.”

ODT publishes world map images that teach people to see the world from a broader, more inclusive perspective. Their maps, books and DVDs are used in Media Literacy programs, as well as Social Studies and Geography programs worldwide. They publish the "What's Up? South!" world map, the Hobo-Dyer world map, the Population map, the Peters Map, as well as books (Seeing Through Maps and How Maps Change Things) and DVDs (including Many Ways to See the World and Arno Peters: Radical Map, Remarkable Man). Earth Day Network offers the Many Ways film on-line gratis at:

For more information go to:, email or call 800-736-1293
Bob Abramms
Fax: 413-549-3503