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Selecting map projections for world maps



Selecting map projections is challenging for many cartographers. John P. Snyder published a hierarchical decision tree in 1987, which is a systematic selection guideline for projections at all scales. Projection Wizard is an online projection selection tool available at It is based on a modified version of Snyder’s guideline. For world maps, Projection Wizard and Snyder’s guideline both suggest a list of different map projections instead of a single “best” projection, because no hard rules for selecting world map projections exist. There has never been an agreement among cartographers on a best choice for world map projections, because personal taste, aesthetic preferences and layout constraints are relevant selection criteria. This presentation discusses additional selection criteria for selecting projections for world maps.
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... The lack of dependence on regular graticules also allows meshes to create map projections with no strong basis in the north-up convention, similar to the Dymaxion projection (Fuller, 1943) or the Cahill projection (Cahill, 192904). Unlike existing map projections, meshes can do this without first projecting to a polyhedral surface. ...
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In order to transform the curved surface of the earth onto the planar surface of a map, some distortion must be introduced. Conventional map projections are defined by mathematical formulas, and are thereby limited in their ability to control that distortion by the complexity of those formulas. Piecewise map projections based on interpolation onto unstructured meshes have no such constraints, and can therefore create maps that are better suited to many use cases. A method using multi-dimensional optimization to optimize such map projections is presented here, and demonstrated by the generation of several new map projections. These map projections are presented as the Danseiji projections, along with their potential applications.
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