Projections make the World go 'Round'!

Take a look at some popular projection below.

Mercator

Used for navigation or maps of equatorial regions. Any straight line on the map is a rhumb line (line of constant direction). The map is not perspective, equal area, or equidistant.

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Orthographic

Used for perspective views of the Earth, Moon, and other planets. The Earth appears as it would on a photograph from deep space. Used by USGS in the National Atlas of the United States of America™.

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Azimuthal Equidistant

Used by USGS in the National Atlas of the United States of America™ and for large-scale mapping of Micronesia. Useful for showing airline distances from center point of projection.

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Azimuthal Equal Area

Used by the USGS in its National Atlas and Circum-Pacific Map Series. Suited for regions extending equally in all directions from center points, such as Asia and Pacific Ocean.

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Albers (U.S.A.)

Based on the Albers equal-area conic projection, the AlbersUSA projection is made especially for the lower 48 states, and shows Alaska and Hawaii in the lower left-hand part of the map, where they of course are not actually located.

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Miller Cylindrical

Used to represent the entire Earth in a rectangular frame. Popular for world maps. Looks like Mercator but is not useful for navigation. Shows poles as straight lines.

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Robinson

Uses tabular coordinates rather than mathematical formulas to make the world "look right." Better balance of size and shape of high-latitude lands than in Mercator, Van der Grinten, or Mollweide.

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Sinusoidal Equal Area

Used frequently in atlases to show distribution patterns. Has been used for maps of Africa, South America, and other large areas that are mainly north-south in extent

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Conic Equidistant

Used in atlases to show areas in the middle latitudes. Good for showing regions within a few degrees of latitude and lying on one side of the Equator.

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Natural Earth

The Natural Earth projection is a pseudocylindrical map projection designed by Tom Patterson. It is neither conformal nor equal-area.

More @ wiki...

Gerardus Mercator

Gerardus Mercator (1512-1594).

More @ Britannica.com

USGS Projections

Descriptions used on this page come from the USGS unless otherwise noted.

Interested in learning more about projections? The USGS has a complete guide!

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