ProjectionTypeKey virtuesComments
StereographicazimuthalconformalCreated before 150 ADBest Used in locations over the Poles or for tiny scale continental mapping
Lambert Conformal ConicconicconformalCreated in 1772Best provided in mid-latitudes – e.g. USA, Europe and also Australia
Mercatorcylindricalconformal and true directionCreated in 1569Best supplied in areas about the Equator and also for maritime navigation
Robinsonpseudo-cylindricalall qualities are distorted to produce a ‘more pleasant’ appearanceCreated in the 1963Best Used in areas approximately the Equator
Transverse MercatorcylindricalconformalCreated in 1772Best Used for locations with a north-south orientation

Azimuthal projection – Stereographic

The oldest known record that this projection is from Ptolemy in around 150 AD. However it is believed that this projection was famous long before that time – probably as far ago as the second century BC.

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Today, this is most likely one of the most widely used Azimuthal projections. It is most frequently used over Polar areas, but can be offered for little scale maps of continents such together Australia. The an excellent attraction the the estimate is the the Earth appears as if viewed type space or a globe.

This is a conformal forecast in that forms are well maintained over the map, although excessive distortions do happen towards the leaf of the map. Directions space true native the centre of the map (the touch suggest of our imagine ‘piece the paper’), but the map is not equal-area.

One amazing feature that the Stereographic estimate is that any kind of straight line which runs with the centre allude is a an excellent Circle. The benefit of this is the for a ar of interest (e.g. Canberra, the resources city the Australia) a map which provides the Stereographic projection and also is centred on that place of attention true distances can be calculated to other locations of interest (e.g. Canberra to Sydney; or Canberra to Darwin; or Canberra come Wellington, new Zealand).

These room two instances of maps making use of Stereographic estimate over polar areas. In this the radiating lines are great Circles. Estimate information: Stereographic; centred ~ above 140° East and 90° south (the south Pole) and 90° north (the phibìc Pole), through a radius the 30° out from every Pole.


Produced utilizing G.PROJECTOR – software occurred by NASA and the Goddard Institute for Spatial Studies. Forecast information: Stereographic; centred ~ above 145° East and also 30° South, through a radius the 30° out from the Pole. In this the good Circles room not as evident as through the 2 Polar maps above, yet the very same principle applies: any type of straight line which runs through the centre point is a an excellent Circle. This is an instance of how a great Circle does not have to be a collection line the Longitude the Latitude.



Conic forecast – Lambert Conformal Conic

Johann Heinrich Lambert to be a German ⁄ French mathematician and scientist. His math was taken into consideration revolutionary for its time and also is still considered important today. In 1772 he exit both his Conformal Conic projection and also the Transverse Mercator Projection.

Today the Lambert Conformal Conic projection has end up being a standard projection for mapping huge areas (small scale) in the mid-latitudes – such together USA, Europe and also Australia. The has additionally become specifically popular with aeronautical charts such together the 1:100,000 scale civilization Aeronautical Charts map series.

This projection frequently used two traditional Parallels (lines of latitudes which space unevenly spaced concentric circles).

The projection is conformal in that shapes are well preserved for a substantial extent near to the standard Parallels. For civilization maps the shapes are exceptionally distorted away from standard Parallels. This is why that is very popular for regional maps in mid-latitude areas (approximately 20° come 60° North and South).

Distances are only true follow me the traditional Parallels. Across the totality map directions are normally true.

These two maps to mark the importance of selecting your typical Parallel(s) carefully. For the very first one the typical Parallels are in the North and for the 2nd they are in the South. Estimate information: Lambert Conformal Conic; centred top top 140° East and the Equator.First map has actually standard Parallels in ~ 30° and also 60° South and also the second has traditional Parallels in ~ 30° and also 60° North.


The Lambert Conformal Conic is the desired projection for local maps in mid-latitudes. In Australia the nationwide mapping firm prefers to usage this estimate using 18° and 36° southern as the two standard Parallels. Estimate information: Lambert Conformal Conic; centred on 140° East and also 25° South, and two conventional Parallels 18° and 36° South.



Cylindrical projection – Mercator

Notice the substantial distortions in the Arctic and also Antarctic regions, but the reasonable depiction of landmasses the end to around 50° north and south. Forecast information: Mercator; centred ~ above 140° East and also the conventional Parallel is the Equator

One that the most renowned map projections is the Mercator, produced by a Flemish cartographer and also geographer, Geradus Mercator in 1569.

It became the traditional map forecast for nautical purposes since of its capability to represent lines of continuous true direction. (Constant true direction means that the right line connecting any type of two point out on the map is the same direction that a compass would show.) In an era of cruising ships and also navigation based on direction only, this was a vitally crucial feature of this projection.

The Mercator Projection always has the Equator as its traditional Parallel. Its building is such that the present of longitude and latitude room at best angles come each other – this way that a world map is constantly a rectangle.

Also, the currently of longitude are evenly spaced apart. However the distance between the lines of latitude rise away indigenous the Equator. This connection is what allows the direction between any type of two point out on the map to be continuous true direction.

While this relationship in between lines of lines of latitude and also longitude effectively maintains direction, it permits for distortion to occur to areas, shapes and also distances. Nearest the Equator over there is little distortion. Distances along the Equator are always correct, yet nowhere else on the map. Between about 15° north and south the areas and also shapes space well preserved. Additional out (to around 50° north and also south) the areas and shapes are sensibly well preserved. This is why, for uses other than naval navigation, the Mercator estimate is encourage for usage in the Equatorial region only.

Despite these distortions the Mercator forecast is generally regarded together being a conformal projection. This is since within small areas shapes are essentially true.

See additionally Transverse Mercator and also Universal Transverse Mercator below.


Cylindrical estimate – Robinson

In the 1960s Arthur H. Robinson, a Wisconsin geography professor, developed a forecast which has end up being much an ext popular 보다 the Mercator forecast for people maps. It was occurred because modern-day map equipments had become dissatisfied through the distortions innate in the Mercator projection and they wanted a people projection i m sorry ‘looked’ much more like reality.

In the time, the Robinson projection replaced the Mercator projection as the preferred projection for civilization maps. Major publishing dwellings which have actually used the Robinson projection encompass Rand McNally and National Geographic.

Compare this come the Mercator forecast map above. Forecast information: Robinson; centred ~ above 140° East and the traditional Parallel is the Equator.

As that is a pseudo-cylindrical projection, the Equator is its standard Parallel and it still has comparable distortion difficulties to the Mercator projection.

Between around 0° and also 15° the areas and also shapes room well preserved. However, the range of acceptable distortion has actually been broadened from about 15° north and also south to about 45° phibìc to south. Also, over there is much less distortion in the Polar regions.

Unlike the Mercator projection, the Robinson projection has both the present of altitude and also longitude evenly spaced throughout the map. The other significant difference come the Mercator is that just the heat of longitude in the centre of the map is straight (Central Meridian), all others room curved, v the lot of curve boosting away native the main Meridian.

In opting for a an ext pleasing appearance, the Robinson projection ‘traded’ off distortions – this forecast is neither conformal, equal-area, equidistant nor true direction.

Cylindrical estimate – Transverse Mercator

Johann Heinrich Lambert was a German ⁄ French mathematician and also scientist. His math was taken into consideration revolutionary for its time and is still taken into consideration important today. In 1772 he released both his Conformal Conic projection and also the Transverse Mercator projection.

The Transverse Mercator projection is based on the highly successful Mercator projection. The key strength the the Mercator projection is that it is extremely accurate close to the Equator (the ‘touch point’ of our imaginary piece of record – otherwise dubbed the traditional Parallel) and the main difficulty with the estimate is that distortions boost away indigenous the Equator. This set of virtues and also vices supposed that the Mercator projection is highly an ideal for mapping places which have an east-west orientation near to the Equator but not suitable for mapping areas which have are north-south orientation (eg south America or Chile).

Lambert’s stroke of genius was to readjust the way the imaginary piece of file touched the Earth… instead of emotional the Equator he had it touching a heat of Longitude (any line of longitude). This touch suggest is called the main Meridian the a map. This intended that specific maps of areas with north-south orientated places can now be produced. The map device only needed to pick a central Meridian which ran through the center of the map.



A Special case – universal Transverse Mercator device (UTM)

It took another 200 years for the next advancement in take place for the Mercator projection.

Again, prefer Lambert’s revolutionary change to the method that the Mercator projection was calculated; this breakthrough was a change in exactly how the Transverse Mercator estimate was used. In 1947 the phibìc Atlantic treaty Organisation (NATO) occurred the global Transverse Mercator coordinate system (generally simply referred to as UTM).

NATO recognised the the Mercator/Transverse Mercator estimate was very accurate along its typical Parallel/Central Meridian. Certainly as much as 5° away from the traditional Parallel ⁄ main Meridian there to be minimal distortion.

Like the world Aeronautical Charts, the UTM system was may be to develop on the success of the global Map that the World. and developing one agreed, worldwide specification the IMW had occurred a constant grid mechanism which covered the entire Surface that the Earth. For short to mid-latitudes (0° to 60° North and also South) the IMW created a grid mechanism that to be 6° of longitude vast and 4° of latitude high.

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Using this NATO draft a similar regular device for the Earth by which it was separated into a series of 6° of longitudinal wide zones. There are a total of 60 longitudinal zones and also these room numbered 1 come 60 – east from longitude 180° . These extend from the phibìc Pole to the south Pole. A central meridian is placed in center of each longitudinal zone. Together a result, within a zone naught is an ext than 3° from the central meridian and also therefore locations, shapes and sizes and also directions between all functions are really accurate.