Weighing in at 58,110 square miles of land area, Michigan is the 22nd-largest state by land area, coming in right behind Georgia and just in front of Iowa. But how big is it really? Many people have a hard time visualizing 58 square miles, let alone 58,110. You might be tempted to look at a map to get a visual sense of Michigan’s size, but be careful: most 2D maps massively distort area in favor of shape and presentation. This includes trusty Google Maps, which uses the popular Mercator Projection, a map projection which sacrifices the accurate display of size in favor of shape and presentation. With the Mercator Projection, geographic bodies become larger as you move further from the equator to the poles.
In order to compensate for these distorted 2D maps, we used special mapping software to create an outline of Michigan. As we move the outline around the map, it changes its shape to account for the projection’s distorting effects. This allowed us to create the following maps which accurately compare Michigan’s size to bodies of land around the world. For Michiganians more familiar with Michigan’s size, these maps should help put the size of other places in perspective and show how much these map distortions affect our perception. For those less familiar with Michigan, these maps will help give you an idea of the Wolverine State’s true size.
Also, because this is the kind of thing we think about at SelfStorage.com, you’d need 8,100,069,120 10×20 storage units to store Michigan.
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