AuthaGraph This is without a doubt the most accurate map projection available. In fact, the AuthaGraph World Map is so perfectly proportioned that it folds into a three-dimensional globe. Hajime Narukawa, a Japanese architect, created this projection in 1999 by evenly splitting a spherical surface into 96 triangles. The result is an accurate representation of the earth's surface, including mountains and islands.
Euclid's method This method uses geometry to create maps. The angles between lines on the ground are calculated from the angles between corresponding lines on the plane model. The lines on the model are then projected onto the surface of a sphere or ellipsoid to produce a map. Euclid of Alexandria (c. 300 B.C.) is considered the father of geography because he first suggested that everything known about one part of the world can be applied to another part. His work included a book called "On the Elements of Geography" which discussed how to determine the location of cities, rivers, and other features on a map.
Lambertian Conformal This projection preserves the angles between pairs of parallel lines on the original surface but changes the shape of all other objects. It is named after Johann Heinrich Lambert, who proposed it in 1772. As with most conformal projections, the goal is to fit as many points on the boundary of some region of interest (in this case, the entire sphere) into a given rectangular frame (the image).
Our "equal area" global map projections are among the most accurate and least distorted ever developed. It is the culmination of 22 years of effort and the creation of 16 prior "equal area" projections. The base map used by all our projections is the WGS 84 system, which defines the location of every point on the surface of the earth with great accuracy. Our projections simply change how we display that information so that large areas can be displayed on a single sheet of paper without distortion.
They are particularly useful for showing relationships between large groups of geographical features, such as countries on a world atlas page or major ocean currents. They have also been used in a variety of scientific studies and reports where geography is part of the discussion.
This project has been created by Martin Davis using libraries and software provided by ESRI.
Globes are the most accurate representations since they are spherical, much like the Earth, however utilizing a globe as a map has practical drawbacks. There are several methods for projecting the Earth's three-dimensional surface onto a flat map. A geographer may choose from among several different projections to best display the features of interest. Some common projections include: orthographic projections such as world maps and satellite images that show the entire earth as one large rectangle, with angles and areas distorted in some way; stereographic projections that divide up the planet into two equal parts, with each part looking like a half ball; and cylindrical projections that flatten out the Earth's poles and make them look like circles.
The advantage of a globe is that it shows the relationship between all parts of the Earth's surface. You can see how one place is affected by other places - for example, the effect of distance on temperature through the greenhouse gas effect. On the other hand, a projection map only shows what is seen from above the horizon at any given moment. It cannot reveal information about the interior of countries or people's homes. And because of this, we use both together - globes for showing scale and relationship, and projection maps for presenting specific details about certain places on the Earth.
The Robinson map projection is popular because it maintains all areas slightly distorted, resulting in an aesthetically beautiful globe map. The projection was invented by J.A.E. Robinson in 1884.
A globe is the only "projection" that has all of the properties with no distortion. A 1 degree x 1 degree latitude and longitude "block" is almost square, but the identical "block" near the poles is nearly a triangle. There is no perfect projection, and a mapmaker must select the one that best meets their requirements. The more stringent these requirements are (such as for military maps), the better the projection.
There are two main types of projections: planar and non-planar.
In a planar projection, such as the equidistant projection, lines on the map remain parallel to themselves even when extending beyond the edge of the paper. Thus, they can be folded back on themselves without losing their shape or size. Non-planar projections include spherical and conical projections. In these cases, lines on the map do not remain parallel to themselves when extended beyond the edges of the paper; rather, they converge or diverge toward some point outside the map. These projections are used in geographical books and atlases because they show the relationship between different locations on Earth. For example, mountains may appear to rise out of the ground or islands created by a river.
Spherical projections are used to display large areas using a limited number of dimensions. They preserve the angle between any two points on the sphere regardless of how far apart those points are from each other.
A map projection is a method of representing the entire or a portion of the spherical Earth on a flat surface. This is impossible to achieve without some distortion. The mapmaker must choose the one that is most suited to their needs while minimizing distortion of the most crucial elements.
The concept of a "flat map" goes back at least as far as Claudius Ptolemy's Geographia, which was first published in about AD 150. But it wasn't until much later that anyone actually tried to make a practical map using this technique. Gerardus Mercator created such a map in 1569, and since then many other map projections have been developed. These are needed because no single projection can show all parts of the world with equal accuracy. For example, maps of Africa and South America appear very distorted when projected onto a plane.
The purpose of a map projection is to simplify the task of marking locations and routes on the map by preserving certain important features regardless of where they are placed on the surface. Any projection will distort objects on the sphere in some way, but not all distortions are equal. A good projection should minimize the distortion of important aspects of the terrain while maintaining its overall shape and size relative to other regions of the world map.
There are two main types of map projection: conic and non-conic.