“[Maps] are always more than mere factual statements. They are translations of reality into forms we can master; they are fictions and acts of imagination communication scientific data. So they reflect changes in our pictures of reality.The world is not only what exists ‘out here’; it is also the picture we have of it in our minds which enables us to take grip on material actuality. […] Europe came to stand in some men’s minds at the centre of the world. No doubt this led Europeans for centuries to absorb unconsciously from their atlases the idea that this was somehow the natural order of things. It did not often occur to them that you could have centered Mercator’s projection in, say, China, or even Hawaii, and that Europeans might then have felt very different. The idea still hangs about, even today. Most people like to think of themselves at the centre of things. […] Mercator helped his own civilisation to take what is now called a ‘Eurocentric’ view of the world.” (Roberts 1985:194-197)
Roberts, J. M. 1985: The Triumph of the West. British Broadcasting Corporation, London.