Weighing in at 10,931 square miles, Hawaii is the 43rd-largest state by land area, coming in right behind Maryland and just in front of Massachusetts. But how big is it really? Many people have a hard time visualizing 10 square miles, let alone 10,931. You might be tempted to look at a map to get a visual sense of Hawaii’s size, but be careful: most 2D maps massively distort area in favor of shape and presentation. This includes good old Google Maps, which employs the 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 Hawaii. 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 Hawaii’s size to bodies of land around the world. For Hawaiians more familiar with Hawaii’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 Hawaii, these maps will help give you an idea of the Aloha State’s true size.
Also, because this is the kind of thing we think about at SelfStorage.com, you’d need 1,523,693,952 10×20 storage units to store Hawaii.
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