For a Mercator projection
, the expression of its map factor m in spherical coordinates is:
I suggest that world maps with countries colored by some statistical feature often would be more useful if done on a cartogram that is a compromise between population and size of countries, rather than on a map with a simple Mercator projection
("A Better Distorted View:' SN: 8/28/04, p.
More to the point, especially considering the key factor of "distance," the choice of the common Mercator projection
, with all its inherent north-south distortions, is unfortunate.
Sowell points out, correctly, that the Mercator projection
has long proven useful for navigation and other purposes and that alternative types of maps distort the globe in different ways.
Since, on the sphere, the meridians of longitude approach each other and meet at the poles, this means that in a Mercator projection
, the east-west distances are increasingly exaggerated as one travels north or south from the equator.
For states with a shape greater in the North-South direction, the transverse Mercator projection
A transverse Mercator projection
was consequently adopted for recording borehole collar positions.
The Mercator projection
, named for the Dutch cartographer who devised it, distorts the size of Alaska so that it appears nearly as large as Brazil, which is actually five times the size of our 49th State.
After all, it has given us great beer, potatoes frites and one of the biggest influences on modern geography--Gerard Mercator, the cartographer behind the Mercator projection
Several canvases make use of cartographic conventions such as the Mercator projection
, a method of flattening the globe onto a two-dimensional picture plane.
The same effect can be found on a Mercator projection
of the world (another leading conformal grid), where, for example, Greenland is grossly oversized.
For starters, he says, much of the blame rests on the shoulders of professional cartographers, who until recently used the badly skewed Mercator projection
Critical mapping of the antipodal artists' parallel attributes--both paint as a way to test painting's limits--has produced, like a Mercator projection
, distortions of significance while continuing to confuse and degrade the meanings and utility of the terms conceptual and theoretical--terms rarely applied to Martin's practice.
Besides the Mercator projection
, which is ideal in equatorial regions, there are the conical projections for temperate regions and Polar projections for polar regions, which remain orthomorphic for navigation and don't seriously exaggerate the surface areas.
Mercator: In use since the 1500s, the Mercator projection
is popular with sailors.