What is this thing?
Maximin Perspective is a website designed to easily visualize ethically important data on a global map in a way that works well on all modern devices.
What do you mean by ethically important data?
We are working hard to develop a curated collection of metrics that provide interesting insights into the things that matter most: health, wealth, education, peace, justice, and the environment. The idea is that this website will very quickly and intuitively provide an informed global perspective that could serve as a good starting point for further research, advocacy, investment, etc.
How is this different from all the other maps out there?
Maps are tricky to get right. When converting a sphere to a rectangle, it is impossible to preserve shape, distance, direction, and land area. Tradeoffs must be made.
Nearly all maps on the internet use projections that preserve shape, and work well for navigation, but badly distort size. Those maps are fine for many uses, but run into serious problems when visualizing data that is ethically important because they artificially inflate the size of northern countries compared to countries close to the equator. A humorous discussion of this problem came up once on an episode of the West Wing , but here’s a more thorough explanation of the problem from Vox. Also, the image shown above is from a great website called thetruesize.com that lets you move countries around a Google map to see how they are distorted.
There's one more practical problem with popular map projections that isn’t often discussed. They tend to be substantially wider than they are tall. This makes them difficult to work with at a global scale on a variety of devices and orientations, many of which are tall and thin rather than wide and short.
To address these concerns, Maximin Perspective morphs the map to comfortably display as much data as possible across all modern devices while preserving the proper area and shape of continents. In order to pull this off, all we had to do was disconnect and reorient the continents.
Once upon a time, the Maximin Project was a non-profit organization seeking to collapse the distance between education and action with regard to extreme global poverty. This video from our 2013 Indiegogo campaign provides a good overview of that stage in our development.
For the time being, our efforts to recommend more projects and process donations are on hold. Those tasks proved to be much more difficult than we ever expected. We haven't given up on them, but we are definitely taking a longer road.
In the meantime, please note some of the projects that we've recommended in the past.
CAMMES: Vocational Programs in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Evidence Action: Deworming Children in India
Heal Africa: Health Center in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Pratham: Village Education in India
SOIL: Santiation Projects in Haiti
Slum Dwellers International: Community empowerment in the Global South
Other Good Lists of Charities