The problem with Gall-Peters is that it gives a misleading impression of equatorial regions--it scrunches up the width and exaggerates the height. Humans are bad at estimating area when the rectangles have different ratios for their sides--notice how Africa appears to be the same size as Asia; in reality, it's only ~⅔ the size.
So, yeah, the Mercator is horrible as a projection. Cartographers have known that for over a hundred years. Yet if you want a better map projection, there are several decent ones that are better than Gall-Peters (which is basically the inverse of the Mercator: exaggerate the equator at expense of the poles). Even if you limit yourself to equal-area, Mollweide and Eckert do better jobs of avoiding shape distortion. Outside of equal-area, well, Robinson and Winkel tripel tend to do very well, striking a decent balance between all of the different kinds of distortions.
As a general rule of thumb, any map projection that insists that it depict a globe as a rectangle seems to do very terribly.
In other words, suppose you have a globe one meter in diameter and it is (erroneously) a perfect sphere. The error is just a few millimeters, hardly enough to notice or worry about on a globe of that size.
And that globe is much better than any possible projection onto a flat map.
This is what's puzzling to me: instead of arguing about one map projection vs. another, why don't they use globes instead to give a more accurate picture? Then they could get into the interesting discussions about the compromises and errors that all map projections make.
The more impressive fact is that half of the world's population lives in a small-ish circle in Asia: http://io9.gizmodo.com/more-than-half-of-the-worlds-populati...
And the reason was social justice? How how the reason being science? The Robinson and Winkel projections are much more accurate. The planet is spherical, not rectangular.
This is about as idiotic and anti-science as teaching Creationism and Intelligent Design in schools.
If that is true, then that is indeed disappointing. Sure, the kids may gain more insights into cartography/geography, but I wonder if the lesson plan now includes a false narrative of the oppressive white man made his continents bigger because "racism."
Or even stop aligning with the earths spin occasionally.
(The reason for the hate statement next to Gall-Peters is that the Gall-Peters projection has been at the center of not just one, but multiple serious political scandals over multiple centuries. Furthermore, the people who introduced it lied about it, because the primary reason for Gall-Peters is not mapmaking, or education, but "social justice", whatever that means. Exactly what is wrong in 2016 with using a fucking globe or Google maps (which now has a zoomed-out earth view on the satellite section). Also, please don't politicize map projections, or if you absolutely must, Robinson is the way to go)
If you want to go for accuracy in worldview, show people a globe. If you want a map, Robinson projection is probably the way to go for "most accurate looking". If you want to cross the dateline, and navigate easily, I'd still go with Mercator I think.
As for your last point, the fact that you have to mention the drawbacks and advantages of different maps shows that there isn't actually one right answer. That's politics. Map choice has to accept limitations. You can't get a globe everywhere, the 2D plane is still really popular in our world so it's not a binary choice between "globe" and "Robinson", but rather "what exactly am I looking for in a map". It is politics and you can't just immediately shut down anything deviating from the status quo because "my way is the only way".
The further along we seem to get the worse it seems to get though. I did math, statistics specifically, so ... well ever since climate change that's a lost cause. And that's uniformly bad. Bad for the quality of people at university, students and academics. Bad for the science itself. Bad for society (imho). Bad for everyone.
The ONLY merit Gall-Peters has is this supposed "social justice" bullshit. Neither Gall and Peters were honest. Neither of them had anything to contribute to mapmaking. They just wanted attention and money. Get out. Just ... get out. Find a better reason, or please don't bother anyone.
Politics is unavoidable in science. There was never an era in which the two weren't combined from phrenology to modern-day examples like global warming which you mentioned. To expect science to be free from outside influence is overly idealistic. Science needs funding. That fact alone makes it inseparable.
> The ONLY merit Gall-Peters has is this supposed "social justice" bullshit.
Now you're just being dishonest. Did you miss the whole "equal area" thing?
> They just wanted attention and money.
Yeah map projection creators are rolling in royalties... You tell me to find a better reason and you come up with bullshit like this, ha!
No, navigation is.