I'm new to GIS and was making some progress until getting rather stumped on this one. I've imported what I believe to be lat/lon data based on US FIPS county codes in weather alerts (NOAA SPC). When I use the geodjango "simplify" method on my geometries, they render on a map according to my expectations. But when I attempt to perform relationship queries on the raw geometries, I get distance and overlap values that do not correspond to the real world geography. For example, the two upper blobs in this top image should be adjacent and much further south, and the lower blob should fit Florida better (the distances and overlaps in this image match my ST_Distance and ST_Overlaps values):
Here is a rendering of the "simplify" geometry, which shows how these spatial entities are truly related in the real world (pink regions):
Does this distortion look familiar to anyone? Thanks!!