• Map: Andy Woodruff
    Map: Andy Woodruff

Peer straight across the ocean from the Newfoundland coast and you might imagine that, were humans able to walk on water, you could skip a straight line all the way to France.

But it turns out that depending where you are along the shore, you might eventually bump into Australia instead.

Cartographer Andy Woodruff has produced a series of maps that show where you would end up if you were to stand at any given point perpendicular to the coast and keep walking straight. Like the Newfoundland-to-Australia example, some of the results are unexpected.

Because coastlines are crooked and the earth is round, lines of latitude on a map are not a reliable way to determine where you would end up.

So Woodruff mathematically adjusted for these factors and developed seven maps, one for each continent. Lines connect coastal points around the world to continents, showing which continent you would “see” if you were standing at any given point. The viewpoint is the brighter end of the line.

This map was inspired by similar ones previously done by Eric Odenheimer, Weiyi Cai, and Laris Karklis of the Washington Post.

(Map courtesy Andy Woodruff)