Map Projections Album

  Vector Maps created by MICRODEM

Table of projection properties

Orthographic (equatorial aspect)
  • Project perpendicular to plane
  • Known to Egyptians and Greeks 2000 years ago
  • Severe distortion at edges
  • Looks like globe
Stereographic (equatorial aspect)
  • Conformal
  • Projected from point at center on "back" of the globe
  • 2d century BC
Lambert Azimuthal Equal Area (equatorial aspect)
  • 1772
   
Orthographic (polar aspect)
  • Project perpendicular to plane
  • Known to Egyptians and Greeks 2000 years ago
  • Severe distortion at edges
  • Looks like globe
Stereographic (polar aspect)
  • Conformal
  • Projected from point at center on "back" of the globe
  • 2d century BC
Lambert Azimuthal Equal Area (polar aspect)
  • 1772
   
Equidistant Cylindrical
  • Simplest and oldest
  • dates 200 BC or 100 AD
  • Also called equirectangular projection, equidirectional projection,  geographic projection, plate carrée or carte parallelogrammatique projection
  • In ArcGIS this is the GCS projection
  • Other than as a quick and dirty map of the world, this has no redeeming geometrical characteristics, and should never be used for large scale maps.
Mercator Ellipsoidal
  • Based on cylinder
  • Conformal
  • Straight rhumb lines, parallels, and meridians
  • Poles at infinity
  • 1569

 

Cylindrical Equal Area
  • Parallel spacing decreases toward poles, by Cos(Lat)
  • Shows poles (but distorted)
  • Lambert, 1772

Lambert's latitude of no distortion was the equator.  Others have suggested different latitudes (the "central latitude" of the projection):

  • Gall, 45º
  • Behrmann, 30º
  • Edwards, about 37º
  • Peters, about 45-47º

Lambert's version is above, the Gall-Peters below. To keep areas equal, note the stretching in one direction compensated by equivalent compression in the other direction.

Miller Cylindrical
  • Parallel spacing increases toward poles
  • Shows poles
  • 1942
UTM (Universal Transverse Mercator)
  • This is a projection for Zone 18, and normally would be zoomed in to show a much smaller area.
  • The central meridian is zone 18 runs north south, and the others converge--to the east on the left side of the map, and to the west on the right.
   
Lambert Conformal Conic
  • Based on cone
  • Straight meridians, curved parallels
  • Very close to also being equal area for a region like the continental US
Albers Equal Area
  • Based on cone
  • Straight meridians, curved parallels
  • Very close to also being conformal for a region like the continental US

 

   
Sinusoidal
  • Pseudocylincrical
  • Equal area
  • since mid 16th century
Molleweide
  • Pseudocylincrical
  • 1805
Van Der Grinten
  • Entire globe inside a circle
  • All meridians and parallels are arcs of circles (except equator and central meridian, which are straight lines or infinite circles)
  • 1904
Hammer
  • Modified Lambert Azimuthal Equal Area (halve vertical coordinates, and show more meridians to have entire globe visible)
  • Remains equal area
  • 1892

Reference on projections:


Last revision 11/19/2017