World time zone map in Mercator style by 2022 World Almanac

NEBRASKA CITY - A policy on maps is on the agenda for the Nebraska City School Board today.

A proposed policy would prohibit the use of the Mercator projection maps, unless as part of a discussion on how maps are flawed.

The Mercator map has been the most popular for 500 years for showing shipping lanes and preserving longitude and latitude. It was widely shown in schools across the United States and it is the image most Americans saw in school regarding the world map.

It does not follow the same scale throughout, however, so there are distortions in the size of various nations.

Although Africa and Greenland appear to be almost the same size on the map, Africa is actually 14 times larger. The map overestimates the size of countries in the Western World, especially in  Europe, while countries in Africa and South America are shrunken.

Geographic Information Systems says the Gall-Peters projection also has distortions, but preserves actual size.

 LB 962, the bill to ban the Mercator map, was debated in the state Legislature in January.

The education committee says LB 962 requires the Gall-Peters or AuthaGraph projection maps to be used beginning in the 2024-25 school year.

The Nebraska City school board will consider designating May 19 at El-Hajj Malik ElShabazz, Malcom X Day and hold suitable exercises in recognition of the contributions and  sacrifices of the late Nebraska Hall of Fame inductee.

The enrollment summary at Nebraska City includes 1,292, with the eighth grade as the largest class with 116. There are 69 pre-k students.