Why do internet maps use Mercator?

I’ve often wondered why Google, as well as other internet map providers, use the Mercator projection. It was originally designed for nautical navigation by keeping lines of latitude perpendicular to lines of longitude. The cost was that land areas were distorted, and the distortion increases nearer the poles, making countries in very low or very high latitudes look bigger than they really are. Using the Mercator projection, Greenland looks bigger than Australia for example, but in fact Australia is about three times the area of Greenland. [Read More]