A couple of links about map projections to share with you.
Seb Perez-Duarte shoots spherical panoramic photographs. In this photoset, he applies cartographic projections to those spherical images (above, for example, is the Mollweide projection). This is easily the most brilliantly unorthodox way I’ve seen yet of demonstrating what map projections do to spherical objects — peeling an orange can only go so far. Via WhereCamp; see also MetaFilter.
Stephen Von Worley has some fun reversing the distortions of the Mercator projection, which exaggerates the size of things at the poles in order to achieve consistent compass bearings. He imagines what would happen if Greenland was on the equator and Africa in the Arctic, and goes on to do the same thing with Alaska and Texas and with the U.K. and Cuba. Freaky.
I remember well this Sesame Street bit, starring Grover the waiter and his restaurant customer, who misses his flight to South America because Grover won’t shut up about “this wonderful, glorious map.” When I stumbled across it again tonight, I noticed something interesting: take a good look at that map and tell me it isn’t a Gall-Peters projection!
“I love Bucky, but Cahill’s map is a lot better.” That’s how Gene Keyes opens his latest project, which he describes as “an interlinked set of 17 profusely illustrated web pages detailing the evolution and defects of Buckminster Fuller’s… • Continue reading this entry.
Bucky Fuller’s Dymaxion projection projects the globe onto an icosahedron (a 20-sided polyhedron) and unfolds it. Take the same principle, but project the globe onto a polyhedron of immense complexity, with a lot more sides, and you get a myriahedral… • Continue reading this entry.
About.com’s Amanda Briney has a primer on great circles. A great circle is the shortest distance between two points on a sphere; sailors and aviators use great circles to get the fastest and most efficient route from point A to… • Continue reading this entry.
From a cartographic perspective, the problem with Mars’s two tiny moons, Phobos and Deimos, is that they are not in the least bit spherical or even spheroidal — they are quite bumpy and irregular. If you thought map projections… • Continue reading this entry.
Mental Floss’s three controversial maps will be familiar to regular readers of The Map Room: Percy’s 38-state map of the U.S. (Rob even draws a new version of Pearcy’s map), the Mercator projection (in the context of the Peters projection… • Continue reading this entry.
Rhumb Lines and Map Wars: A Social History of the Mercator Projection by Mark Monmonier University of Chicago Press, 2004. Hardcover, 238 pp. ISBN 0-226-53431-6 Rhumb Lines and Map Wars is Mark Monmonier’s response to the controversy over the Mercator… • Continue reading this entry.
Microsoft’s SQL Server Developer Center is an unusual place for it, but there it is anyway: a primer on map projections entitled Introduction to Spatial Coordinate Systems: Flat Maps for a Round Planet. The summary: “This paper is an introduction… • Continue reading this entry.
Facebook app whereyougonnabe? gets an upgrade focusing on integration with other platforms (previously). Diana Eid takes a look at map art, focusing on three artists we’ve seen before: Matthew Cusick, Elisabeth Lecourt and Susan Stockwell (via GeoCarta). On the… • Continue reading this entry.
This Isn’t England: “So for the last two years I’ve been taking pictures of Britain on world maps. Not accurate maps, but drawings or illustrations of maps. The differences are amazing. You might assume that all maps were accurate, or… • Continue reading this entry.
Paul Anderson writes to inform us that his Gallery of Map Projections (see previous entry) has moved to a new server hosted by the Center for Spatially Integrated Social Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Here is the… • Continue reading this entry.
Tom Patterson of Shaded Relief wrote in to announce his new project, a physical map of the world. As was the case with his relief map of the United States, it’s free and freely available in several formats, including… • Continue reading this entry.
Excerpts from TMW Media Group’s Geography Tutor video series have been posted to YouTube; map-related clips include the above video on map projections, this clip on the International Date Line and this clip on the use of colour in… • Continue reading this entry.
On his relatively new Terra ETL Blog, which I had not noticed before, Dean C. Mikkelsen has a nice post explaining the Robinson projection, the compromise projection created for aesthetic purposes by the late Arthur Robinson. (You may recall that… • Continue reading this entry.
ODT Maps, the publisher (and chief promoter) of the Peters map (and general source of thought provocation about map projections and representationality), has produced a documentary about the map and Arno Peters. From the press release: This fascinating 30-minute documentary… • Continue reading this entry.
Global Concepts in Maps is an abbreviated excerpt from a longer educational film about map projections; more information here. I want to see the whole thing, but my, that doesn’t mean it’s good. The risible style of 1950s educational films… • Continue reading this entry.
Arno Peters was not the first person to come up with a map projection as an explicit critique of the Mercator projection (or at least its use as a general world map rather than as a navigation tool), nor… • Continue reading this entry.
In a November 2005 article for The American Surveyor, Angus Stocking considers — and compares — two “alternative” map projections: the Gall-Peters projection, proselytized by Arno Peters, and the icosahedral Dymaxion projection by Buckminster Fuller. To put it mildly, he… • Continue reading this entry.
NASA’s Global Map Projector — G.Projector for short — is a lovely little program that transforms any equirectangular map image (one is included) into another projection. It’s a tremendous amount of fun, and a very useful way of visualizing… • Continue reading this entry.
On MapHist, Paul Anderson reports that his Gallery of Map Projections site (previously mentioned last December) has been moved to galleryofmapprojections.com; the former URL now throws a 404…. • Continue reading this entry.
BBC News’s magazine article, The Map Gap, is all over the map: a discussion of how hard it is to present a true representation of the planet ends up touching briefly upon such diverse elements as map projections, Google Earth,… • Continue reading this entry.
I like Penn State’s Interactive Album of Map Projections: it’s a truly dynamic tool that redraws a world map (or portion thereof) based on the parameters you give it — including 10 different projections — rather than an interface to… • Continue reading this entry.
Via Ubikcan (a blog I really wish I’d found out about sooner) comes word of a relatively new book that sounds like an excellent counterpoint/complement to Seeing Through Maps: The Power of Projections: How Maps Reflect Global Politics and… • Continue reading this entry.
Seeing Through Maps by Denis Wood, Ward L. Kaiser and Bob Abramms ODT, 2006. Softcover, 160 pp. ISBN 1-931057-20-6 It’s really not a difficult concept: there are no “right” and “wrong” cartographic projections. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages,… • Continue reading this entry.
Henry Bottomley’s Java world maps projection page dynamically redraws a map of the world based on your choice of projection and other parameters. You can also apply the projections to other layers (topographic Earth, Earth at night, Moon, Mars,… • Continue reading this entry.
Hidden amongst the 50 animated short films put online by Canada’s National Film Board (via Boing Boing) is a 10-minute educational film about cartographic projections from 1947: The Impossible Map. Directed by Evelyn Lambart, the film uses grapefruit peels… • Continue reading this entry.
A new edition of Seeing Through Maps, by Denis Wood, Ward Kaiser and Bob Abramms, is now available. It’s the second edition of the book; the first edition, still available on Amazon.com, came out in 2001. This edition, however,… • Continue reading this entry.
How to Lie with Maps (Second Edition) by Mark Monmonier University of Chicago Press, 1996. Softcover, 220 pp. ISBN 0-226-53421-9 While reading this modern classic by Syracuse University geography professor Mark Monmonier (see previous entry), I was struck by how… • Continue reading this entry.
A huge collection of map projections; they’re just outline maps in PDF formats, and there isn’t much in the way of documentation or explanation, but it seems awfully thorough. If you’re looking for a specific — even obscure — map… • Continue reading this entry.
Carlos A. Furuti’s Map Projection Pages comprise the most extensive resource on projections that I have yet seen online, including why a given map projection is used and the math involved in creating a projection. Thanks again to peacay. See… • Continue reading this entry.
Writing in India’s Financial Express, Y. R. K. Reddy calls for India to discard the “racist” Mercator projection, which makes “our country look so small on the map,” and advocates a switch to the Peters projection (about which see previous… • Continue reading this entry.
Mark writes to tell us about the Dymaxion Projection Animation site: “The site is dedicated to showcasing Buckminster Fuller’s ‘Dymaxion Projection’ map. The Dymaxion Projection is reputed to be the most accurate flatmap of the earth, but I love the… • Continue reading this entry.
This past week the media reported the death of Arthur Robinson, whose eponymous projection was adopted by the National Geographic Society for its world maps. He died Oct. 10 at the age of 89. Obituaries from the Arizona Republic (reprinting… • Continue reading this entry.
The Cartographie tribe had an interesting discussion a while back about the Peters projection, which, in its attempt to spread distortion evenly among the continents by distorting at the equator as well as at the poles, is as much political… • Continue reading this entry.