0977: "Map Projections"

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0977: "Map Projections"

Postby bhoot » Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:07 am UTC

Image
Alt text: What's that? You think I don't like the Peters map because I'm uncomfortable with having my cultural assumptions challenged? Are you sure you're not ... ::puts on sunglasses:: ... projecting?

In the absence of any sort of commentary--a prerequisite for creating a new thread, I will add some for you ~~Felstaff

"Hi, I'm bhoot. I love maps. Maps maps maps. Mmmmmmm, maps. I haven't read the forum rules, but I do love a good map! In the end, isn't that just the same thing? The answer... is no."
Last edited by bhoot on Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:48 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Map Projections

Postby Demosthenes » Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:09 am UTC

Don't those options all... fall flat?
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Re: Map Projections

Postby asofaihp » Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:11 am UTC

wait... Hobo-Dyer and Gall-Petersons are my favorites....
Guess Randall just hates me.

Except that butterfly one is freaking cool.
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Re: Map Projections

Postby bhoot » Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:12 am UTC

Most XKCD jokes resonate very much with me (GOOMHR and all), but I didn't even know the names of most of these maps. I guess that I'm more of a google earth person.
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Re: Map Projections

Postby Uristqwerty » Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:15 am UTC

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.
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Re: Map Projections

Postby ctrlburn » Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:18 am UTC

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.
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Re: Map Projections

Postby Schadenfreude » Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:19 am UTC

Decent comic. Bit of a misleading premise, given that some projections have legitimate uses. (first one that pops to mind without searching is Mercator--useful for sailing, I seem to recall. Or it was, and then people started using GPS.) Fairly humourous if you just roll with it.
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Re: Map Projections

Postby XRayA4T » Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:23 am UTC

But they are all upside-down!
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Re: Map Projections

Postby Stanistani » Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:23 am UTC

My favorite is Behrmann Cylindrical Equal-Area...

I like walks on the beach and a good Chianti.

But fava beans give me gas.
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Re: Map Projections

Postby anu3bis » Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:23 am UTC

Gall-Peters: You only really thought about different maps when you saw that Cheese Day episode of West Wing.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8zBC2dvERM
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Re: Map Projections

Postby Sir_Read-a-Lot » Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:26 am UTC

So, about the mouseover text... are we projecting about projections?
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Re: Map Projections

Postby KShrike » Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:27 am UTC

Randall wrote:Are you sure you're not ...
::puts on sunglasses::
... projecting?

http://yeahbutton.com/

Edit: Oh, how I loved that! Hahaha!!!
Also, title is missing the comic number.
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Re: Map Projections

Postby Plasma Mongoose » Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:31 am UTC

Apparently I'm very clever. :D
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Re: Map Projections

Postby fajro » Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:37 am UTC

What if your favorite is a reversed Gall-Peters?

Image

:mrgreen:
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Re: Map Projections

Postby enigmamf » Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:47 am UTC

I have always been a fan of azimuthal projections, because they put you in the center of the world.
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Re: Map Projections

Postby cephalopod9 » Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:48 am UTC

I don't understand the dislike for the Gall-Peters.

It annoys me quite a bit how big Greenland gets stretched out. I don't think stretching it more the other direction is the best way to correct that, but what do I know, I have a globe.
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby Bellerophon » Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:49 am UTC

I spent far too long going between Robinson and Winkel Tripel, but I think I'm happy with the Kavrayskiy.
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Re: Map Projections

Postby Vnend » Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:50 am UTC

fajro wrote:What if your favorite is a reversed Gall-Peters?


You are upside down, and he still hates you.
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Re: Map Projections

Postby Meyermagic » Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:52 am UTC

I'm quite glad this comic showed up, because it gives me an opportunity to try and find something I've been wanting to find for over a year now.

A few years ago I saw a map projection that was generated algorithmically to minimize distortion to "important" metrics on the globe (distance between things and landmass and whatnot). It came out looking somewhat like a Dymaxion map, but instead of sliding around a globe on an unfolded icosahedron so that the cuts don't intersect land, it started with a sphere and made many small "tears", preserving "important" features, then unfolded the sphere in a similar way. It produced an output that was more visually pleasing than the Dymaxion map, and did a better job of preserving distance between and within landmasses, but was probably also more confusing around the edges, where the many small tears were.

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.
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Re: Map Projections

Postby Drooling Iguana » Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:52 am UTC

Projecting a (roughly) spherical surface onto a rectangle will always result in screwyness in either area, shapes or both. Why not just use something like Molleweide?
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby asaz989 » Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:57 am UTC

I actually rather like the Peirce Quincuncial - it makes the shortest path between two points actually be (pretty close to) a straight line, and so gives a much better feel for shortest-route distances than most other projections.
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Re: Map Projections

Postby Vnend » Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:01 am UTC

cephalopod9 wrote:I have a globe.


Yeah, me too. And globes for the Moon, Mars and a night sky one that shows the constellations when you turn on the light inside it.

Of course, what I'd really like is a globe linked to google maps so it can update itself for night and day and other changes. Maybe link it into the weather satellite system so it can display the cloud cover in near real time too. Have it sync up with my laptop/tablet so I can define a small area on it and have it show up there zoomable.

That would be cool.

Meanwhile, your ID and icon make me wonder if octopodes would play with an Etch-a-Sketch....
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby machee » Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:02 am UTC

YYYEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby glasnt » Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:03 am UTC

I'm scared this will migrate to okcupid/crappy zodiac style thing sooner rather than later >_<
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby Kartoffelkopf » Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:03 am UTC

What if you like Australia-centered upside-down maps?
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Re: Map Projections

Postby Djehutynakht » Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:04 am UTC

Demosthenes wrote:Don't those options all... fall flat?


Not the globe.
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fajro wrote:What if your favorite is a reversed Gall-Peters?

Image

:mrgreen:



I hate that map for two different reasons, the first is that it's an upside down map and the second because it's an America-Centric Map. (Not partial to either because, despite their sociological statements, ones eyes tend to focus on the top-center of the map when you first look at it. So to have the majority of landmass be near the bottom irks me. And with the America-Centric map, it doesn't keep the great Eurasian Landmass contiguous. Look at that thing. Land is in the periphery. The big hulking empty-of-land Pacific is staring you in the face. A traditional map keeps continents contiguous and most of the landmass focused near the top.)

I find all maps and map projections extremely interesting, and do in fact know these ones. They really can be fascinating. For a working-with map, however, I tend to prefer a well-proportioned traditional like the Robinson, Winkel-Tripel, or, sometimes, a simple globe (though flat maps are considerably less bulky).
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby myrcutio » Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:12 am UTC

is it just me, or is the Hobo-Dyer upside down? I must be missing something...
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby pareidolon » Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:12 am UTC

The clear choice here is none of the above, but rather a one-dimensional projection! You wrap a line around the equator and color it more blue on points that are mostly ocean up and down the latitude, and more brown on points that are mostly land up and down the latitude. Problem solved. And then your raised-relief 1D map represents the average highest natural elevation over that area.
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Re: Map Projections

Postby XRayA4T » Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:20 am UTC

Djehutynakht wrote:
fajro wrote:What if your favorite is a reversed Gall-Peters?

Image

:mrgreen:



I hate that map for two different reasons, the first is that it's an upside down map and the second because it's an America-Centric Map.

Why is it upside-down? Up on a planet is a purely arbitrary choice. As someone living in the southern hemisphere why should my country always be on the bottom?
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby cephron » Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:22 am UTC

The most truly accurate flat representation of the earth's surface would be an Equirectangular Projection which fades into transparency the further you get from the equator; the atoms of the surface getting more and more spread out as you approach the poles.
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Re: Map Projections

Postby Meyermagic » Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:23 am UTC

Meyermagic wrote:I'm quite glad this comic showed up, because it gives me an opportunity to try and find something I've been wanting to find for over a year now.

A few years ago I saw a map projection that was generated algorithmically to minimize distortion to "important" metrics on the globe (distance between things and landmass and whatnot). It came out looking somewhat like a Dymaxion map, but instead of sliding around a globe on an unfolded icosahedron so that the cuts don't intersect land, it started with a sphere and made many small "tears", preserving "important" features, then unfolded the sphere in a similar way. It produced an output that was more visually pleasing than the Dymaxion map, and did a better job of preserving distance between and within landmasses, but was probably also more confusing around the edges, where the many small tears were.

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.


Wait, I found it!

http://www.win.tue.nl/~vanwijk/myriahedral/
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18264-clever-folds-in-a-globe-give-new-perspectives-on-earth.html

The video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1xXTi1nFCo
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby Icalasari » Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:31 am UTC

The waterman one is sexy
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby mheard » Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:33 am UTC

There are worse things in the world than Gall-Peters.
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:40 am UTC

I hate Gall-Peters with a passion. In highschool, we had a big poster of it comparing it to the Mercator map. But not the real Mercator map, but one missing Antarctica so the hippies could make a strawman argument about how Mercator thought Germany was the center of the world. The Gall-Peters also missed Antarctica and the equator was not in the center. Plus, they declared it made the Northern hemisphere look bigger than the Southern hemisphere when the pro-Gall-Peters map included all of Africa and South America and half of Asia in the "South" (hint; most of Africa is NORTH of the Equator, as is virtually ALL of Asia).

I'm willing to bet those hippies couldn't tell you the mathematical formula behind the Mercator map.
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Re: Map Projections

Postby AlbeyAmakiir » Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:41 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's 900913 projection: You're deliberately trying to look different from everyone else, fail, and the invisible differences end up making you worse off anyway. Blech. Fake-mercator projection.
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Re: Map Projections

Postby Nolari » Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:42 am UTC

Meyermagic wrote:Wait, I found it!

http://www.win.tue.nl/~vanwijk/myriahedral/
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18264-clever-folds-in-a-globe-give-new-perspectives-on-earth.html

The video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1xXTi1nFCo

Was going to post this, but you beat me to it. ;)

Jack van Wijk is a colleague of mine. He always has the most awesome pictures and animations to present in his talks. Here's another pretty project, for example:
http://www.win.tue.nl/~vanwijk/regularmaps/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KjvwTYFI-A

He's also the creator of SequoiaView, on which kdirstat and other such tools are based.
http://w3.win.tue.nl/nl/onderzoek/onderzoek_informatica/visualization/sequoiaview/
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby bytbox » Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:44 am UTC

Classic. Absolutely fscking classic. /This/ is why I love xkcd.

Disclaimer: I don't care one whit about map projections. Well, I didn't before seeing this comic. I think I do now.

EDIT: performing the reverse operation from that implicit in the comic, I've determined that my favorite is "Goode Homolosine" (which I've actually seen before, and liked!). "You think we wouldn't have so many problems if we'd just elect /normal/ people to congress instead of politicians" - totally.
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby jpk » Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:03 am UTC

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?

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.
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. 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.

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!


</rant>
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Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Postby bytbox » Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:09 am UTC

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.
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Re: Map Projections

Postby Proginoskes » Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:13 am UTC

ctrlburn wrote:What does it mean when you like the "South Up Map"?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reversed_map


I was kind of wondering about that one, myself.
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