Boston public schools recently announced that they will shift to using world maps based on the Peters projection, reportedly the first time a US public school district has done so. Why? Because the Peters projection (pictured top left) accurately shows different countries’ relative sizes. Although it distorts countries’ shapes, this way of drawing a world map avoids exaggerating the size of developed nations in Europe and North America and reducing the size of less developed countries in Asia, Africa and South America. This is what happens with the more commonly used Mercator projection, which exaggerates the size of the Earth around the poles and shrinks it around the equator. So the developed ‘global North’ appears bigger than reality, and equatorial regions, which tend to be less developed, appear smaller. Pictured top right is a South-up Peter’s projection, putting more developing countries in the generally poorer southern hemisphere at the top of the map and so giving them greater significance. Pictured bottom left is a map of voter turnout, where emerging economies are bigger – and North America smaller – than many people might suppose. Pictured bottom right is a map centred on the Pacific Ocean instead of the usual median-centred map. Pictured centre is the azimuthal polar projection from the north, where the southern hemisphere has been pulled into view on the page, with the consequence that Antarctica centrifuges into a doughnut around the edge of the circular map. This projection is also depicted on the United Nations flag.