0977: "Map Projections"

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Bob Stein - VisiBone
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby Bob Stein - VisiBone » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:20 pm UTC

Darnit he has me pegged. I make a Robinson map and all those apply to me double.
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countrychart_1020.jpg
VisiBone Country Chart, 48"x24" Robinson projection. visibone.com/countries
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we.reallmadhere347
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby we.reallmadhere347 » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:22 pm UTC

I'm deeply hurt that Gnomonic Projections weren't included in this post, which would mostly say that at some point you've probably either piloted a plane or a ship.

Maximus_Light
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby Maximus_Light » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:32 pm UTC

So I have a question and I'm interested in hearing what people think:
What does it mean when you have a galactic zoom as your map?
I currently have from the Milky way, Solar system, then earth itself. Plus I'm wanting to add a map of Canada on the near end and this on the far end but I need to wait until next year to get it:
http://www.thinkgeek.com/homeoffice/6aac/

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SpringLoaded12
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby SpringLoaded12 » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:40 pm UTC

Karilyn wrote:This map is clearly biased against Antarticans. Let me fix that for you.

Image

Wait a minute. Antartica is only THAT big?! It's smaller than South America? I always thought from looking at Mercator and Robinson maps that it was enormous.
Until this comic, I actually wasn't aware that there were any other map projections besides those two, the globe, and Goode Homolosine, whose use I didn't understand.


jpk's comment could be the single most blind, oblivious, callous, and downright foolish comment I have ever seen on any forum. It's confusing to respond to the whole thing at once given how much there is to cover, so let's go through it together, shall we?
jpk wrote:Why get worked up over which distortion to pick? They're all useful if you understand them, and deceptive if you don't, and obviously Randall knows this, so why is he pretending to be a stupid pretentious ass?
And why smirk at the idea of an actual globe? How does that fit into his posturing?
When measuring distance, volume, mass, etc. do you prefer the Imperial system or the Metric system? They're both "useful if you understand them," so why do most people seem to prefer one over the other? If each programming language has a particular purpose which the others cannot match, why do programmers pick a favorite and make jokes about the others (or, if they're feeling more open, choose a favorite type of programming language such as object-oriented, functional, or imperative/procedural)? Why do firearm enthusiasts prefer some guns/types of guns/ammo over others? Why does anyone who has ever eaten food like the taste of certain foods and dislike the taste of certain others?
Because guess what? Unlike you (apparently), some people actually give a shit about how they do what they do, and will usually do these things via their own preferences rather than just settle for one of the other options.
And for the record, I like the globe and I think Mercator looks just fine, and even though I now know about all these other types I'm not going to "switch" because I don't actually use world maps for anything.

jpk wrote:Seems to me yer man is running out of things to feel superior about, now that everyone knows about python and what-not. This is a pretty desperate grab, the only thing he's got going for him here is that nobody actually cares, so he can feel superior for caring.
Here we have a maneuver I now consider overdone by xkcd haters, the "this-comic-clearly-shows-that-Randall-is-X" (replace X with "a jerk," "narcissistic," "arrogant," "unoriginal," "bad at art," "trying to make himself look good," "a misogynist," "a feminist," "anti-Christian," "anti-[insert particular field of study here]," "running out of jokes," "constantly making comics about his personal experiences," etc.) maneuver. People, please. I can't defend Randall against such an argument by saying how he actually is, because I don't know how he actually is; I don't know him personally. Just as importantly, though, neither do you.

jpk wrote:This is the sort of comic that makes me think that most geeks are really desperately sad and lonely for a reason: they're spiteful little bitches who really don't believe that they're smart unless they find some tangible proof of it, which comes in the form of caring passionately about something that other people have never heard of. Might be "I'm really into map projections" (which translates to, "I'm really into being someone who knows the different map projections and likes gloating about it for some reason"). Might be "I'm really into this obscure meme that nobody else is ever going to care about, but I'm going to make it my life so I have something that makes me feel cool and different and a little bit odd, but doesn't actually involve being gay because, well, I'm just not comfortable with that, but I think that gays have a knack for getting chicks, so maybe I can work with this... hey, ponies!". Might be whatever.
This is all in one quote because it's all related, but there's a lot to pick apart here.

"most geeks are really desperately sad and lonely": That number is shrinking, and shrinking fast. Geek culture is growing and spreading to tremendous size, and some (shallow) people even pretend to be interested in the culture in an attempt to gain the social acceptance of the people who genuinely are interested in it. Given what you say in your comment, you've probably met some of them. And that's not just common geek culture aspects like video games and sci-fi and comics and memes, that can apply to anything.

"they're spiteful little bitches who really don't believe that they're smart unless they find some tangible proof of it, which comes in the form of caring passionately about something that other people have never heard of.": Thinking highly of yourself without any valid reason to do so is the definition of vanity. You want to be smart? Do something smart. Caring about something that other people have never heard of doesn't prove that you're smart, it proves that you're less uninteresting than the pattern of ceiling tiles in the tax department of an office building. What you're saying doesn't make much sense within itself either, since you're claiming that their interest in something obscure is solely to prove that they're smart -- implying that it is not genuine interest -- but you say they "care passionately" about it -- implying that it IS genuine interest. And unless you have been utterly miserable and despised everything around you for your entire life, you too have something you genuinely care about, which is why it confuses me that you don't think anyone else does.

[rest of the quote]: Not everyone who is interested in something obscure gloats about it or thinks negatively of those who aren't interested. There are some who do, and they need to reevaluate their lives. As for the comment about the gays, are you implying that gay people are gay for the sake of being different? Because that could be the most shallow line of this comment.

But it might be tied with this:
jpk wrote:But it's all affectation. Nobody cares about "My Little Pony", they care about being seen as the guy who cares about "My Little Pony". Nobody cares about map projections, but it's a nice way to lengthen your geek-peen a little. If you were actually the person you're pretending to be, you wouldn't be fronting "I know all about map projections", you'd be off doing whatever it is you do with maps, and you wouldn't be telling the world about your pony fixation, you'd be doing whatever it is that you actually care about.
See, people who are actually interested in things, they do them. When people are afraid they're actually boring pathetic losers, they invent ridiculously obscure things to pretend to be interested in, and then instead of actually being interested in them, they spend all of their time talking about how interested they are in cheese graters of the late 1960s.
The thing you seem to have missed, you sad sack of shit, is that plenty of people genuinely are interested in these things, and you're ranting at them for supposedly feigning interest. You're like a modern-day Holden Caulfield, except that no one would read a book about you. If you had so much as skimmed this thread, you would see plenty of people who do care about different map projections, and you may have noticed that none of them are arguing over it, and none of them are pretending it to seem "cool," because no one is acting like it's "cool."
And of course, you bring up the ponies. No one says "I watch My Little Pony" to seem cool. Some people hide their interest in the show because they are afraid of being judged, which is natural at a young age. Fans don't "tells the world about their pony fixation," they watch the show, talk about the show with other fans, write fanfiction, make fanart, make jokes, etc. That's what human beings do; they interact with other people that share their interests, and sometimes they form and contribute to communities of such people. I'm not a fan of the show myself, but I know plenty of people who are, and they don't go around flaunting it like they want a goddamn merit badge or something, they just enjoy the fandom. The same can be said of anything that has a fandom. Anyone who flaunts a hobby is a jackass.

jpk wrote:I suggest a trip to Life-Mart might be in order. You can wait for the after-christmas sales, it's okay, but I expect everyone to have a life installed and running by, can we say February? Okay, start of February it is. I'll be back around then. Enjoy the holidays!
And lastly, the classic "get a life" remark. It seems like people can use that as a response to anything. How do you define "having a life," jpk?
Does it mean having a girlfriend/boyfriend/fiance/spouse? Because if so, you should note that not everyone can have the leisure of constantly having a healthy relationship.
Does it mean having a hobby? Because if so that's the dumbest thing you've said, given that the rest of your comment seems to attack people for doing exactly that.
Does it mean not having any hobbies and just doing what everyone else does? Because that sounds like a pretty empty existence to me.

In conclusion, we're sorry that we're not all as callous and spiteful as you, jpk.
"It's easy to forget what a sin is in the middle of a battlefield." "Opposite over hypotenuse, dipshit."

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steve waterman
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby steve waterman » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:47 pm UTC

The first test for a projection...does Antarctica looks as it does on the globe ? in essence, only polyhedral based projections will do that; like the Waterman, Cahill, or Fuller dymaxion. I would like to post my waterman projection here...but this is my third message and none have been posted...yet others who have joined after I did today...did get theirs posted. i wonder what the problem posting my posts is...?

NatGeoEd
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby NatGeoEd » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:48 pm UTC

What I want to know is if Randall knows that it's Geography Awareness Week?

Xezlec
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby Xezlec » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:59 pm UTC

SpringLoaded12 nails it, but he missed something that I noticed immediately upon reading the original:

jpk wrote:If you were actually the person you're pretending to be, you wouldn't be fronting "I know all about map projections", you'd be off doing whatever it is you do with maps, and you wouldn't be telling the world about your pony fixation, you'd be doing whatever it is that you actually care about.
See, people who are actually interested in things, they do them. When people are afraid they're actually boring pathetic losers, they invent ridiculously obscure things to pretend to be interested in, and then instead of actually being interested in them, they spend all of their time talking about how interested they are in cheese graters of the late 1960s.

I suggest a trip to Life-Mart might be in order. You can wait for the after-christmas sales, it's okay, but I expect everyone to have a life installed and running by, can we say February? Okay, start of February it is. I'll be back around then. Enjoy the holidays!


Allow me to introduce you to an invention with great relevance to the subject of projection: a mirror.

By your (flawed) logic, if you actually were the person you're pretending to be, you'd be off living your life, not here on a message board arguing that you're the one living your life and therefore infinitely superior to all of us "geeks" who sit on message boards and argue about things. Actually, experience tells me that the kind of rage you exhibit above (which seems odd for such a non-controversial comic) is usually the result of reading something that hits just a smidge too close to home.

See, when people are actually interested in things, they discuss them in good humor, connecting to one another through their shared enjoyment of the subject. When people are afraid they're actually boring pathetic losers, instead of trying to connect, they pull away, concocting contrived arguments to prove how much better they are than everyone else and leaving the room in a huff.

See the shiny, shiny reflectiveness? Brightness a bit harsh for you? Not to worry. I'm sure you have many pairs of shades. That makes you WAY more real than Randall, who I'm sure is just using the shades in the alt-text as a rhetorical device because he thinks he's better than you.

Rtown
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby Rtown » Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:15 pm UTC

Registered to say a few things.

Second, awesome comic, because I totally overlooked the amount of different maps of the world. xkcd helps me learn so much.

Third, the globe. Runner up is Plate Carree which seems to be a better Mercator (whee imaging), and points to Gall-Peters for being interesting.

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Dorp
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby Dorp » Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:16 pm UTC

SpringLoaded12 wrote:jpk wrote:
But it's all affectation. Nobody cares about "My Little Pony", they care about being seen as the guy who cares about "My Little Pony". Nobody cares about map projections, but it's a nice way to lengthen your geek-peen a little. If you were actually the person you're pretending to be, you wouldn't be fronting "I know all about map projections", you'd be off doing whatever it is you do with maps, and you wouldn't be telling the world about your pony fixation, you'd be doing whatever it is that you actually care about.
See, people who are actually interested in things, they do them. When people are afraid they're actually boring pathetic losers, they invent ridiculously obscure things to pretend to be interested in, and then instead of actually being interested in them, they spend all of their time talking about how interested they are in cheese graters of the late 1960s.


Sorry, if you all get to defend your map projections I get to defend my magic horses. Call me simple-minded but the new My Little Pony series genuinely entertains me and I enjoy watching it, so yes there is at least one person that actually cares about My Little Pony. Why do you feel a need to insult a whole community just because they happen to like a kids' show? More to the point, though... why do you feel a need to insult anyone at all? You don't need to put other people down, jpk. People will like you for who you are, all you need to do is give them a chance. Love and tolerance, my friend. We're all in this together.

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keithl
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby keithl » Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:19 pm UTC

I want a "no ocean" land-only map projection that fits nicely on a sheet of paper. Better for planning ridiculously long road trips. Why waste 70% of the map on blue ink, and places you can't pave? You can put the oceans back in if you give me pontoons.

chrth
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby chrth » Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:50 pm UTC

keithl wrote:I want a "no ocean" land-only map projection that fits nicely on a sheet of paper. Better for planning ridiculously long road trips. Why waste 70% of the map on blue ink, and places you can't pave? You can put the oceans back in if you give me pontoons.


here you go:

Image

EDIT: Wait, did you want a current one?

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steve waterman
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby steve waterman » Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:09 am UTC

re- waterman projection [ low resolution images]
Atlantic centered view
Image
Pacific centered view
Image

note - continental areas and point to point measured distancing are within 10 percent to actual.
"While statistics and measurements can be misleading, mathematics itself, is not subjective."
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realbart
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby realbart » Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:11 am UTC

I did know many projections. But not the Peirce quincuncial projection. And I love it!

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jonadab
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby jonadab » Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:29 am UTC

I think Mercator gets a bad rap. Seriously. Of the ones listed in the comic, it's arguably the best general-purpose projection.

Admittedly, that's partly because your list leaves out most of the other halfway-decent options, e.g., the Chamberlin or Lambert projections. The homolosine and Robertson projections aren't too bad for a large whole-world map (like for a wall display in a geography classroom), but they're severely impractical for many other (rather more common) use cases.

A globe is handy, of course -- I have one in my bedroom -- but there are a number of things you can't do with a globe because it's not flat. (Conveniently storing a stack of a hundred or more maps of various parts of the world at various magnifications and at various times in history is high on the list of things you can't easily do with a globe. Flat maps are MUCH better for that.)

I mean, yes, Mercator distorts things somewhat, especially when you compare the size of tropical regions to the size of polar regions. (Shortest-path calculations will also be quite off for very-long-distance trips.) All projections distort *something*, and most of them distort overall shape rather severely, which IMO is worse than distorting relative size. Several of the ones you list even distort the shape and relative position of *nearby* objects, which makes them worse than merely useless. Others are impractical just because they're too ridiculously far away from being rectangular. If you printed that Waterman thing in an atlas, for instance, you'd only be using about half of the surface area of the page, which would place undesirable limits on the amount of detail you could include.

Mercator is absolutely *perfect* for maps of a relatively small geographical area, which is an extremely common kind of map: if you want a strategic map of the battle of Carchemish or a road map of western Pennsylvania, you probably want a Mercator projection.

Admittedly, I wouldn't want to be stuck with *only* Mercator maps, but the same thing can be said for every other kind of map as well.

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jonadab
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby jonadab » Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:40 am UTC

Seems to be missing "Whatever Google uses"


That would be Mercator.

Incidentally, there are a number of very important considerations they had to take into account when deciding which projection to use. Most of the important considerations fall into three general categories: technical reasons having to do with implementing the software and platform, technical reasons having to do with the data themselves (and organization thereof), and reasons involving how they expect people to use the service. If you think about it at ALL, all three categories of reasons point very clearly in the same direction: Mercator.

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Idhan
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby Idhan » Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:43 am UTC

Mercator maps can't even show the whole world unless they're vertically infinite. Sure, for a limited area, they're fine, but for a limited area, all map projections are fine (to varying degrees -- Gnomonic will still distort even a small map more than, say, Polyconic.). It's true that Mercator does have the advantage of not requiring re-centering the map, i.e., for a selected section showing Western Pennsylvania, you can just blow up that part of a Mercator (almost) world map rather than, say, redoing a sinusoidal map with the central meridian passing through Pittsburgh rather than Greenwich. If you're doing a local map, though, why would you blow up a small part of a (probably) much less detailed world map, rather than starting local?

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Djehutynakht
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby Djehutynakht » Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:45 am UTC

I managed to get into a debate about the Galls-Peters and the Mercator today. I feel accomplished.

I like this subject.

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Oflick
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby Oflick » Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:50 am UTC

Without looking at what the maps were called, the one I liked the most was Robinson. That's my last name! I guess I'm genetically linked to it.

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Re: Map Projections

Postby Eternal Density » Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:58 am UTC

ctrlburn wrote:What does it mean when you like the "South Up Map"?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reversed_map
I came here to make sure South Up was represented, because I feel it is my duty as a good Australian.


At home I have a globe though :P I don't care much about projections and haven't heard of both of these. I find a street directory more practically useful.
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Kreylix
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby Kreylix » Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:12 am UTC

I guess I am doomed: my game company's name is Mercator Games.

Spiky
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby Spiky » Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:28 am UTC

I find myself unable to answer the question. When you are a map, you don't need projections. Although possibly a gps occasionally.

I have a gps.

mearcstapa
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby mearcstapa » Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:33 am UTC

Anything after the T-O map is too mainstream.

Image
Last edited by mearcstapa on Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:56 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

Sadgrinner
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby Sadgrinner » Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:36 am UTC

Registered to share a couple "maps as art" links (profanity in the URL so spoiler'd):
Spoiler:
http://fuckyeahfictionalmaps.tumblr.com/archive
http://fuckyeahmaps.tumblr.com/archive

I was always a fan of National Geographic's celestial maps as well, such as http://maps.nationalgeographic.com/maps/print-collection/heavens-star-map.html

Also, thanks forumites for indirectly helping me find http://www.progonos.com/furuti/MapProj/Normal/ProjInt/projInt.html - I've always had a fondness for interrupted maps, or what the progonos site calls "gore maps".

Try your hand at peeling an orange and leaving the skin in a single piece. If you're successful, try to lay it flat. It really helps you grok the significance mapmaking, distortion, and building projections.

Manawarp
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby Manawarp » Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:39 am UTC

I find it surprising how completely I fit the description of Dymaxion.
I like Isaac Asimov, XML (handy way to open stuff up to easy modification), and shoes with toes (wore some earlier today).
I've been wanting to try a Segway since they came out without ever getting a good chance to do so.
I don't own 3D goggles but I plan to get some once I have the cash to spare.
And yes, I typed this in Dvorak (which I use more than Qwerty).

NoNotReally
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby NoNotReally » Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:49 am UTC

Glad to see Randall recognizing that Gall-Peters is crap. Anyone who thinks a cylindrical map projection is the right solution for reducing distortion is an idiot. While on the subject of Basically Decent projections, has anyone noticed that most compromise projections seem to make Africa far too small?
Compare the Ecker IV:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ecker_IV_projection_SW.jpg

to the Robinson:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Robinson_projection_SW.jpg

North America and Europe/Asia stay just about the same height yet Africa and South America are squished dramatically. As aesthetically pleasing as they are, the Kavraivskiy VII, and Winkel Triple appear to have the same flaw. Personally I think we should throw out compromise projections and use the Tobler Hyperelliptical as the standard projection for political maps.

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Samik
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby Samik » Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:57 am UTC

Xezlec wrote:
jpk wrote:blah blah

See, when people are actually interested in things, they discuss them in good humor, connecting to one another through their shared enjoyment of the subject. When people are afraid they're actually boring pathetic losers, instead of trying to connect, they pull away, concocting contrived arguments to prove how much better they are than everyone else and leaving the room in a huff.

See the shiny, shiny reflectiveness? Brightness a bit harsh for you?

Bravo.


Springloaded did well (although it pained me to even see him/her devote as much time as s/he did to responding), but this hits the nail square.

jdhutch
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby jdhutch » Tue Nov 15, 2011 3:57 am UTC

As a cartographer, I fully intend to hang a copy of this comic over my desk. I will be the envy of the cube farm.

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SpringLoaded12
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby SpringLoaded12 » Tue Nov 15, 2011 4:05 am UTC

Samik wrote:
Xezlec wrote:
jpk wrote:blah blah

See, when people are actually interested in things, they discuss them in good humor, connecting to one another through their shared enjoyment of the subject. When people are afraid they're actually boring pathetic losers, instead of trying to connect, they pull away, concocting contrived arguments to prove how much better they are than everyone else and leaving the room in a huff.

See the shiny, shiny reflectiveness? Brightness a bit harsh for you?

Bravo.


Springloaded did well (although it pained me to even see him/her devote as much time as s/he did to responding), but this hits the nail square.

For future reference, I am male.
Sometimes someone else's comment will strike a nerve and I feel the need to make a long, elaborate response; this was one of those times. I wrote many essays in high school and I still haven't quite gotten out of the mindset of stretching what I say to be as long as it can without losing comprehension, leading to unnecessarily long comments. Xezlec did a much better job of being concise though; I agree, bravo.
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steve waterman
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby steve waterman » Tue Nov 15, 2011 4:14 am UTC

Some background info for the waterman projection can be found at the wonderful site of Carlos Furuti...scroll down on this page...

A collection of various grids can also be seen on his site
http://www.progonos.com/furuti/MapProj/Dither/ProjTbl/projTbl.html

Here is a ]Tissot Indicatrix for a waterman
http://www.watermanpolyhedron.com/images/TISSOTblue.jpg
and some other Tissot's from Carlos's site
http://www.progonos.com/furuti/MapProj/ ... stort.html

Here is the waterman projection as a rotatable polyhedron/"globe"
http://www.watermanpolyhedron.com/CART5.html

For a complete understanding of the various ins and outs regarding numerous projections
http://www.progonos.com/furuti/MapProj/ ... rtTOC.html

I believe that Carlos Furuti's site is the best/most comprehensive site on the net.

Important enough to repeat...does Antarctica look the same on the projection as it does on the globe ?
If not, then why is that projection considered as even being remotely acceptable/representative;
mercator, robinson, gall-peters, van der grinten, goode homolosine, winkel-tripel, hobo-dyer, peirce quincuncial, indeed, all non-polyhedral projections!
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PillsburyHitman234
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby PillsburyHitman234 » Tue Nov 15, 2011 4:47 am UTC

I have to say, most navigational charts are Mercator projections, and sailors REALLY like charts. Mercator projections are my favorite because they make navigation much simpler than with all the really-cool-but-practically-useless projections.

I made an account just to say that.

jpk
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby jpk » Tue Nov 15, 2011 4:48 am UTC

Xezlec wrote:Allow me to introduce you to an invention with great relevance to the subject of projection: a mirror.

By your (flawed) logic, if you actually were the person you're pretending to be, you'd be off living your life, not here on a message board arguing that you're the one living your life and therefore infinitely superior to all of us "geeks" who sit on message boards and argue about things. Actually, experience tells me that the kind of rage you exhibit above (which seems odd for such a non-controversial comic) is usually the result of reading something that hits just a smidge too close to home.
See, when people are actually interested in things, they discuss them in good humor, connecting to one another through their shared enjoyment of the subject.

When people are afraid they're actually boring pathetic losers, instead of trying to connect, they pull away, concocting contrived arguments to prove how much better they are than everyone else and leaving the room in a huff.


Gee, I think I hit a nerve here. Unfortunately, mostly this boils down to "I know you are, but what am I", which hasn't ever convinced anyone older than the age of six in my experience. I suppose if you actually think your rhetorical device is a good one, I don't have to point out that you're accusing yourself of being a rage-fuelled, neurotic disconnected, contrived, superior, room-huff-leaving loser who's just felt something hit a little too close to home.
Or, if you don't believe that, then your metaphor isn't a very good one, is it? Don't worry, I don't think your amateur pyschoanalysis is very good, and I don't think it works on you any better than it works on me. Except the "close to home" bit. You don't start firing off in all directions like this unless you felt a little sting.

See the shiny, shiny reflectiveness? Brightness a bit harsh for you? Not to worry. I'm sure you have many pairs of shades. That makes you WAY more real than Randall, who I'm sure is just using the shades in the alt-text as a rhetorical device because he thinks he's better than you.


I do think that you're dragging your metaphor out a little further than it can stand. Especially since, um, mirrors don't actually emit light. Just a tip from a professional - usually, if you're not a very good writer, simpler is going to work better for you.

mercutio_stencil
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby mercutio_stencil » Tue Nov 15, 2011 4:48 am UTC

I can't say that I care too much about maps, but in true xkcd fashion, I just spend an hour wikipedia-ing all the projections listed. Of course the Waterman Butterfly is awesome, and the Cahill is pretty cool too. Even better, turns out Cahill designed the SF Columbarium; I used to hang out there back in high school.

I kind of want a wall poster of this comic.

blandis
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby blandis » Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:11 am UTC

How about a map with the [approximate] international dateline at the top with the down axis moving to the west. Not sure how that would influence the way you smooth out the spherical to flat part.

jpk
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby jpk » Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:14 am UTC

Game_boy wrote:
It is ON now.

Oh, boy.
I see you feel safe saying ponies is something people only like to be cool and different. But you are wrong, there are people who sincerely believe it is of high artistic value, and don't have to share that with anyone else to be validated.


And I love those people. You know why? Because they shut the fuck up about their fucking ponies once in a while.

In making this comic Randall is trying to be funny. It'd be hard to conclude he actually thinks all people who care about map projections are wasting their time. But your analogy fails at getting that across. You have chosen to make a big assumption about something just from looking at its exterior and your own cultural biases.


It wasn't so much an analogy, it was more two similar phenomena popping up at the same moment. Two birds, one stone, whatcha gonna do?

The humor of the strip, for me was in the consumerist fantasy that your choice of fetish reveals your personality. "I drive this car, therefore I'm this sort of person", "I'm a tweedy intellectual, so I only drink single-malt scotch", "I prefer the double-reverse-alternate Gobshite projection, because I want to be the sort of person who cares about which projection I use".
Or, of course, "I'm into My Little Pony because it's oh so hip and ironic and cool and a little bit gay, but not, you know, gay gay, just, you know, a little transgressive. Like my goth phase, in high school."

Ponies isn't important of course. But thinking entire bodies of art or fields of interest (like map projection) are insincere and worthless is very dangerous; you will dismiss things you actually may like or enjoy.

I don't think I dismissed any fields as insincere or worthless. Read again. If you really, really, really groove on My Little Pony, that's great. Knock yourself out. But I simply don't believe that anyone cares that much about that show. They care about fronting something. And in my experience, people who spend more time fronting than caring are happier when they care enough about something that they don't have to front any more.
And I think that the same thing is going on with a lot of would-be geeks I run into. Lots of people I meet now are much more interested in being the most interesting person in the room than in anything in particular. And they're the most boring people on earth, because they mostly want to have an opinion about everyhing, to care passionately about everything, and to talk loudly about everything. And of course they have nothing to say about anything, because they don't actually care about anything that anyone can detect, except for getting the right image across.

Are we seeing this here? I dunno. How many of the people who posted their favorite projection, in your best guess, ever thought about the notion before they saw the strip?

(Also could you explain, out of pure sociological interest on my part, why ponies was the first thing you thought of when looking for an example of the kind of fanbase you describe?)


Dunno, must be the guy with the pony fixation whose post was just above mine. And, I guess, the fact that the internet just just about shitting ponies these days. It's a very popular underground transgressive subversive way to be different these days.

NoNotReally
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby NoNotReally » Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:21 am UTC

Can we get back to discussing maps? Flame wars and ponies are not nearly as exciting.

edit:Specifically, can someone explain or show the difference between Waterman's and Cahill's butterfly maps?

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Meng Bomin
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby Meng Bomin » Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:28 am UTC

Karilyn wrote:I tried tiling it, and while the effect was attractive, I was irritated the fact that it mirrored across the edges, causing some weird things, most notably showing two Australias next to each other.

Image

Yes, the four non-conformal points along the equator have that effect. However, it seems to me that there are few maps that do a better job of illustrating the continental arrangement around the poles and when you tile as you did, you can see that arrangement from two views that are 180° rotated relative to each other because, as you surely noticed, you need to alternately rotate each tile for accurate tiling.

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whateveries
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby whateveries » Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:33 am UTC

uh...jpk, ah, are you angry because you just got your Gall-Peters framed? cause, you know..well...I'd be angry too. True story, I had a gall-peters once, I think I got it with some kind of subscription to a lefty magazine of which the name escapes me, it was all like, poor people are good rich people are bad, and when they did an article about the plight of the Aboriginal population of Australia and got so much of it blindingly wrong (they simplified a very complex problem into a 'european culture is bad and insensitive and Aboriginal culture is good and Noble') I realised that perhaps the rest of the articles documenting the wrongs done about the world were somewhat innacurate...so anyway, I got this ugly map, it was kinda like all the countries were on the same diet as callista flockhart and well...sad.

anyway, I cannot see the point of any map that has failed to layer thousands of little hexes all over them so i can work out how long ti would take me to travel somewhere depending of course on my encumberances. and, oh and Well, I guess a magic pony would help speed things up. (esp rainbow dash, my kids favourite, or is that pinky pie?, crap, what a way to find out I am a terrible dad. in an xkcd forum)
it's fine.

Mapprehension
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby Mapprehension » Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:13 am UTC

(Concerning Peirce’s quincuncial:

Karilyn wrote:I tried tiling it, and while the effect was attractive, I was irritated the fact that it mirrored across the edges, causing some weird things, most notably showing two Australias next to each other.
...

Ultimately there's no way to accurately tile this map, which is disappointing as it is a very visually attractive concept.


You tiled it accurately. The results are an accurate tile; if you follow that graticule lines you’ll see that nothing is actually placed improperly in a local sense. It’s just that the singularities at the corners cause abrupt bends, and so you get that annoying appearance of Australia too close to itself. You know those pesky singularities: Mathematical escape clause!

jpk
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby jpk » Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:15 am UTC

whateveries wrote:uh...jpk, ah, are you angry


Not in the least. Why do you ask?

Harry Voyager
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby Harry Voyager » Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:29 am UTC

Spiky wrote:I find myself unable to answer the question. When you are a map, you don't need projections. Although possibly a gps occasionally.

I have a gps.


Yes, but when you have a GPS, you now require coordinates, which require coordinate systems, and coordinate systems then require a map to relate to the world you are standing in. Or on.

And for the love of god, do not try to use Irish Transverse Mercator Grid.

Edit: Wait, we're on ponies now?


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