Geo Quiz: Which Country is Bigger?

This quiz challenges you to figure out which country is bigger based on a series  of world maps using the Mercator map projection.   Originally developed in 1569 by Flemish cartographer, Gerardus Mercator, the Mercator map projection is a cylindrical map projection.

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A conformal map projection, the Mercator projection preserves angles, making it a useful projection for navigational purposes since it preserves directional bearing.  The Mercator projection does distort the sizes and shapes of geographic features and this distortion increases the closer the object is to the poles.  This means that features closer to the poles appear to be radically larger than they are in real life.  Despite this distortion, the Mercator map projection has become the most used projection, used by such online map applications such as Google Maps.

A common complaint is Mercator makes certain features look disproportionately large.  For example, Greenland on a Mercator map looks to be almost as big as Africa.  In reality, the continent of Africa is almost 14 times larger than Greenland in area (30,200,000 km² compared to 2,166,086 km²).

Each world map shows two highlighted countries in yellow. There are ten questions in this quiz.  It is up to you to figure out which country is the bigger one in terms of geographic area.  To select, check the box next to the country name after each map to select the country that you think is the bigger one.  All country area statistics are from MapFight.  All maps were created in QGIS using Natural Earth data.

Take the “Which Country is Bigger?” Quiz

Algeria versus Kazakhstan

Australia versus Brazil

Sweden versus Venezuela

Chad versus Finland

Uruguay versus Portugal

Morocco versus Madagascar

Mexico versus Sudan

Suriname versus Iceland

Spain versus Ethiopia

Somalia versus Italy