Using the site antipodesmap one can quickly explore what the opposite point of the earth to any location would be. That is, the surface point connected to this point by a straight line through the centre of the earth.

It is easy to see that most land points have antipodes which lie somewhere in water, which made me wonder:

How much land area (as a fraction of total land area) has antipodal land area?

And how would I best find this out? Can somebody produce a map of those areas, e.g. highlight those areas on a world map?

  • $\begingroup$ I'm hoping to write an answer myself. Not quite there yet, but came up w/ a shiny map: test.bcinfo3.barrycarter.info/… $\endgroup$
    – user967
    Sep 7, 2018 at 3:19

1 Answer 1


A rough idea, using the Lambert Conformal image at the Cartopy projection list and Gimp:

enter image description here

The gold area should be the overlap. So basically parts of South America with Indonesia and SE Asia... and Antarctica with the far northern islands of the northern hemisphere, plus a few smaller areas from islands like New Zealand and Hawaii and even smaller.

That assumes I did properly invert it. To do so, I just vertically flipped the image, and offset it by 180 degrees. Thinking that should be all that is needed.

So in the end it looks like it's not a lot of area at all. Further exact statistics would take some GIS work (probably quicker than GIMP in the end!) A central starting guess would be 8.5% (the 29% land cover squared), but particulars will make it a bit higher or lower.

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    $\begingroup$ Nice illustration! Clear and to the point. $\endgroup$ May 14, 2018 at 1:32
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks a lot, this is very much what I was looking for but wouldnt have known how to achieve. (The now obviouse didn't occur to me: Staring out with the appropriately projected 2D map.) $\endgroup$
    – BmyGuest
    May 14, 2018 at 7:12
  • $\begingroup$ keep in mind the areas in appear far larger than they really are as you get near the poles. $\endgroup$
    – John
    May 15, 2018 at 21:49
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    $\begingroup$ @John, chose the map I did because I believe the listed file there is the lambert cylindrical equal-area (though it wasn't absolutely clear... I'd rather have found a better image quality/reference, but was tough). If it is equal area, believe those concerns shouldn't be an issue (note how the latitude lines are squished at the top/bottom, so it's not like Mercator, distorting polar areas), and thus those areas should prove directly proportional to the rest of the map. $\endgroup$ May 15, 2018 at 23:23
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    $\begingroup$ Here's another: nzherald.co.nz/technology/news/… $\endgroup$ May 17, 2018 at 1:21

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