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World Projection Collection

World Projection Collection

The World Projection Collection is a selection of various projections of the planet earth. While we have tried to bring you a variety of views of the planet, this is only a small sampling; certainly there are other valuable projections out there. As you’ll learn, with the earth being sphere shaped, it has always been the map maker’s challenge to accurately depict it in a two dimensional format. Each of these projections serves a different purpose in visually representing a complex combination of land and water masses in a simplified format.

  • Azimuthal

    A type of map in which a flat sheet is placed in contact with a globe, and points are projected from the globe to the sheet. Directions from the projection's center to all points are correct. Also called a zenithal projection.

  • Conic

    Type of map in which a cone is wrapped around a sphere (the globe), and the details of the globe are projected onto the conic surface; then, the cone is unwrapped into a flat surface.

  • Cylindrical

    A type of map in which a cylinder is wrapped around a sphere (the globe), and the details of the globe are projected onto the cylindrical surface; then, the cylinder is unwrapped into a flat surface, yielding a rectangular-shaped map. Cylindrical maps have a lot of distortion in the polar regions (that is, the size of the polar regions is greatly exaggerated on these maps).

  • Pseudocylindrical

    A type of projection that, in the normal aspect, has straight parallel lines for parallels and on which the meridians are usually equally spaced along parallels (as they are on a cylindrical projection) but on which the meridians are curved.

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