Miami has for some time now, been called the 'Gateway to the Americas' for several different reasons, one of which has to do with the location of the city in relation to Latin America and the rest of the world. This central location and ease of access is one aspect that has contributed to the current boom. But how 'central' is Miami really?
Well... the fact that the Earth is a less-than-perfect sphere makes calculating distances a bit more complicated than just drawing a straight line on a map. What may appear to be far in a two-dimensional map could end up being quite closer in reality. An interesting set of maps created by Miami Geographic's Matthew Toro measures Miami's distance (in kilometers) to all of the 'major' cities (cities with a population of over a million) in the planet.
It may surprise you that cities in Europe (which inherently appear to be farther away) like Manchester (England) and Dublin (Ireland) are closer to Miami than say... Buenos Aires (Argentina). The shortest distance to Europe is not east, but almost due North. Oh, and to get to Australia, one heads more-or-less straight west, but the shortest route to Japan is through Alaska. A few more maps are below (No, they're not upside-down, because technically the Earth has no intrinsic 'up' orientation) with the rest over at MG.—Andy Morales
· Into Perspective: Miami World City Distances [Miami Geographic]