0977: "Map Projections"

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F3ngles
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby F3ngles » Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:14 am UTC

No love for us conics? :cry:

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StClair
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby StClair » Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:17 am UTC

I'm split between Goode and Robinson, both of which are described as very "hey, whatever" projections.

Deza
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Re: Map Projections

Postby Deza » Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:29 am UTC

ctrlburn wrote:My favorites are the fundamentally inaccurate maps. The one above my desk has California as an island.
I guess it means I relish the failures of others - no matter how widely accepted at the time.


What does it mean when you like the "South Up Map"?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reversed_map
I do not own one of these because they were hideously expensive.
So not having one means I am cheap.


Can't you just get a normal map and.... turn it upside down?

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Various Varieties
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby Various Varieties » Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:33 am UTC

The next step should be to combine this comic with World According To Americans by seeing how well a group of geography students can draw all of those different projections from memory.

K^2
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby K^2 » Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:41 am UTC

I feel that my maps should be practical. If I'm using it for navigation, it damn better be a Mercator. You ever tried to navigate by other projections? Don't even bother. For political maps, you can't go wrong with Hobo-Dyer. If I need a map I'm going to map onto a rendered sphere, why in the world would I go with anything other than equirectangular? Everything else is just modern art, as far as I'm concerned.

Edit: I do wonder, is there a projection on which geodesics become straight lines? My differential geometry isn't that great, so I can't see a reason for either being true straight away. Obviously, it can't include poles, but neither can Mercator and that never really bothered anyone. It seems like such a map might be useful for things.

Lioc
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby Lioc » Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:54 am UTC

bytbox wrote:
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.


Congratulations. You've discovered that what Randal /actually/ likes doing is .... drawing comics! About people who actually like map projections.

Insert some strongly-worded and mostly unnecessary flame here - I'm too tired to deal with you properly.


Wow, I'm impressed that you managed to fight your way through that tirade of nonsense to select that quote. I gave up after the first sentence.

Meyermagic
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby Meyermagic » Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:59 am UTC

K^2 wrote:I feel that my maps should be practical. If I'm using it for navigation, it damn better be a Mercator. You ever tried to navigate by other projections? Don't even bother. For political maps, you can't go wrong with Hobo-Dyer. If I need a map I'm going to map onto a rendered sphere, why in the world would I go with anything other than equirectangular? Everything else is just modern art, as far as I'm concerned.

Edit: I do wonder, is there a projection on which geodesics become straight lines? My differential geometry isn't that great, so I can't see a reason for either being true straight away. Obviously, it can't include poles, but neither can Mercator and that never really bothered anyone. It seems like such a map might be useful for things.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnomonic_projection

Is what you are looking for, I think.

opal
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby opal » Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:03 am UTC

when i first saw a soviet map of the world as a kid, which was represented in "polar projection" meaning the north looked like "nearly everything in the northern world is the soviet union" and the south locked like "nearly everything down here is water" i realised in a state of shock, that maps are very much, like history, made by those in power, and not to be trusted. I have a globe nowadays, which i don´t really trust because i´m to lazzy to measure and calculate.

Maybe Not
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby Maybe Not » Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:15 am UTC

The Peters projection isn't so bad if you think of it as a cartogram representing area.

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EvilDuckie
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby EvilDuckie » Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:19 am UTC

I so want a poster of this comic.
Quack!

Harry Voyager
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby Harry Voyager » Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:20 am UTC

You know, I can't believe that you've all forgotten UTM.

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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby skeptical scientist » Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:23 am UTC

I'm generally okay with any projection I understand the math behind. You can convert any such projection to a globe, just by inverting the projection. :)

For my favorite projection, I'd have to say whichever cylindrical equal-area projection gives a local isometry at my current latitude.
I'm looking forward to the day when the SNES emulator on my computer works by emulating the elementary particles in an actual, physical box with Nintendo stamped on the side.

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Azshade
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby Azshade » Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:24 am UTC

I'm Australian, my favourite map is one we had at school, a Peter's "South Up" map. Really screwed with your mind.

K^2
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby K^2 » Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:26 am UTC

Meyermagic wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnomonic_projection

Is what you are looking for, I think.

Indeed it is. I was trying to solve the differential equation for geodesics just now to get the projection, and now I can see why I was having trouble with it. I should have thought to switch to polar coordinates. Falls neatly into places now. Thanks.

AndyS
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby AndyS » Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:54 am UTC

This one *really* says something about the person :

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2011/11/07/science/20111107-tattoos-17.html

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AvatarIII
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby AvatarIII » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:03 am UTC

My favourite to look at, probably because it's so familiar, is the Robinson
Although having a look on wikipedia I found the Cahill Butterfly, which I prefer over the Waterman Butterfly
upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/06/Cahill_Butterfly_Map.jpg
also the Werner Projection that looks like a love-heart (awww)

I guess I'm also quite partial to the Goode homolosine
I don't really like any one that makes Greenland enormous, or ones that don't bother with the Antarctic. or make the equatorial continents too spindly.

hujackus
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby hujackus » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:04 am UTC

Where's my favorite COBE Quadrilaterized Spherical Cube?

http://www.progonos.com/furuti/MapProj/Normal/ProjPoly/projPoly2.html

mihtjel
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby mihtjel » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:06 am UTC

I'm into maps, and I really like Mercator: It's conformal, so I can use it for plotting courses over reasonable distances. It's not the sort of map you'd use for crossing an ocean, but nothing beats it for coastal or short crossing sailing.

AtG
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby AtG » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:09 am UTC

Top-10 among XKCD strips! And best alt-text ever!

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Iulus Cofield
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby Iulus Cofield » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:15 am UTC

Yes, I am very clever.

...what projections do Risk and Axis & Allies use?

hujackus
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby hujackus » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:20 am UTC

More projections than you can shake a stick at.

http://www.progonos.com/furuti/MapProj/Normal/ProjTbl/projTbl.html

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The Moomin
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby The Moomin » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:21 am UTC

I don't actually own any maps beyond the Road Atlas of Great Britain in my car, they do fascinate me though.

If I could have any map/globe though, it'd have to be this.
I'm alive because the cats are alive.
The cats are alive because I'm alive.
Specious.

oelbert
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby oelbert » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:23 am UTC

What happened to the Aitoff projection? I was disappointed to see it wasn't represented here...

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Red Hal
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby Red Hal » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:24 am UTC

John Bartholomew's Atlantis Pseudocylindrical for me, thank you very much.
Lost Greatest Silent Baby X Y Z. "There is no one who loves pain itself, who seeks after it and wants to have it, simply because it is pain..."

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Deep_Thought
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby Deep_Thought » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:32 am UTC

Harry Voyager wrote:You know, I can't believe that you've all forgotten UTM.

Beaten to this by 1 hour 10 minutes. Link added for those who are not aware of this most useful projection/co-ordinate system.

Dorp
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby Dorp » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:36 am UTC

My favorite map is "SE Alaska and the surrounding islands" which I only carry so I can tell where the hell I am relative to Juneau, at which point my favorite map is "City and Borough of Juneau" so I can tell where the hell I am relative to my apartment. I'm pretty sure that makes me a bad person.

nxb07149
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby nxb07149 » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:38 am UTC

I fluttered with different map projections in the past but I've never been in the military so I never cared what it said about me. I am thankful to comic and the thread accompanying it for identifying the correct terminology. Before, I was only aware of 4 or 5 projections.

The conclusions I draw from this comic and subsequent discussion are threefold:
There are 3 types of maps. One that attempts to redress the balance of cultural imperialism but only reverses it. Not problematic in itself; maybe drop in the ocean some might say... but they bring about their own distortion which they are seemingly unaware of or careful to admit.
The second are the artistic and innovative little experiments. Good for a novel perspective and pretty to look but quite impractical (and kind of pretentious).
The third is practical everyday version that is used by all those who don't really care and have never thought about 'what their map projections say about them'.

At home I have a standard Mercator that I obtained for free. It's pitiful in comparison to the wall sized one I used to have (although still a Mercator). Although it does have gnomonic projections of the poles included so perhaps that mitigates some of the most extreme distortion.

The Strebe Projection I just found out about in this thread seems nice actually. Not too dissimilar from the standard but seems to offset some of the imbalance.

And what's wrong with the dymaxion? Other than the hipster pretense (which there isn't anything wrong with in itself). I am not a hipster.

I swear I'm buying a globe first chance I get.

ozthrox
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby ozthrox » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:40 am UTC

Deep_Thought wrote:
Harry Voyager wrote:You know, I can't believe that you've all forgotten UTM.

Beaten to this by 1 hour 10 minutes. Link added for those who are not aware of this most useful projection/co-ordinate system.

++

Definitely want me some UTM, and failing that, LCC (because only half the globe is REALLY important, right?).

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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby Felstaff » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:43 am UTC

TIL: Maps have names.


I tell a lie; I actually use the Cholmondely-Warner projection:
Image
Away, you scullion! you rampallion! You fustilarian! I'll tickle your catastrophe.

torbenm
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby torbenm » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:50 am UTC

For world maps, my favourite is Mollweide (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mollweide_projection). It preserves area and has relatively little local distortion. And it looks good.

vectro
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby vectro » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:05 am UTC

The one labeled "A Globe" is really just the orthographic projection in disguise.

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Re: Map Projections

Postby vectro » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:06 am UTC

Uristqwerty wrote:Seems to be missing "Whatever Google uses", and "Anything at hand", for those who care far more about the fact that it is a map, than how it is represented, and don't usually care about either, anyway.


Google uses Mercator, which is also usually readily at hand.

mitra
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby mitra » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:11 am UTC

Wow. Lambert Conformal is not even on the list.

Brian-M
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Re: Map Projections

Postby Brian-M » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:11 am UTC

Other than "A globe!" I'd have chosen the equirectangular projection, and my response would have been the same as in the comic. However, after browsing Wikipedia I think I prefer the Lambert cylindrical equal-area projection. It's good to see that someone managed to improve on the basic equirectanglar map... a couple of centuries ago.

Meyermagic wrote:I've tried to find this again, but my Google-Fu must not be strong enough. I'm going to hope someone on this forum knows what I'm talking about; it seems like the right place.


I was looking for something similar to what you describe that I remembered seeing as well. The closest I could find is the Interrupted Sinusoidal projection.

There's one about half-way down this page: http://www.quadibloc.com/maps/mps0401.htm
They've even used it on postage stamps: http://www.danstopicals.com/equalarea.htm

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AvatarIII
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby AvatarIII » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:16 am UTC

Felstaff wrote:TIL: Maps have names.


I tell a lie; I actually use the Cholmondely-Warner projection:
Image


That map is rubbish, the Isle of Wight is in completely the wrong place.

Danno81
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby Danno81 » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:16 am UTC

About a year ago, when we were searching for our new home, we visited a house for sale. In this house were the following things:

Many dream catchers
Multiple cooking books advocating “Only natural/raw organic meals”
Bottles of ‘only herbs can cure me’ potions and tinctures in the bathroom
Lots of wicker
Framed paintings of howling wolves

And finally, opposite the cot in their infant child’s room, they had a large Peters projection on his wall.

We did not buy this house because it was rubbish, but I feel bad for that toddlers future. They were just alternative for alternatives sake.

ratfox
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Re: Map Projections

Postby ratfox » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:25 am UTC

Uristqwerty wrote:Seems to be missing "Whatever Google uses", and "Anything at hand", for those who care far more about the fact that it is a map, than how it is represented, and don't usually care about either, anyway.

"Whatever Google uses" seems mostly Mercator...

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J L
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby J L » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:46 am UTC

Wonderful comic. I always hope for a chart of some sort.

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madjo
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby madjo » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:47 am UTC

Where's the Antarctic in the Gall-Peters projection?
:)

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Brett Dunbar
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby Brett Dunbar » Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:00 am UTC

oelbert wrote:What happened to the Aitoff projection? I was disappointed to see it wasn't represented here...


The fairly similar Hammer projection gets more use in practice than Aitoff. For a poster or diagram they look very similar with the better political implications of an equal area projection leading to a preference for the equal area over the azimuthal equidistant projection. Hammer is my personal favourite, for aesthetic reasons I prefer the Hammer's curved lines of latitude over the Mollweide projection's straight lines, it matches the curved lines of longitude that both have giving a nice balance.

From wikipedia:

Aitoff is the equatorial form of the azimuthal equidistant projection, but stretched into a 2:1 ellipse while halving the longitude from the central meridian.

Directly inspired by the Aitoff projection, Hammer suggested the use of the equatorial form of the Lambert azimuthal equal-area projection instead of Aitoff's use of the azimuthal equidistant projection.


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