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the usage of map projections Map Projection
graphic27.08.2011
The amount of different types and variations of map projections is nowadays grown up to more than 200. They vary in properties and usage:
  • for the display of topographic data maily conformal projections are used
  • for thematic and statistical data very often equivalent projections are used, or also equidistant.
  • for navigation, conformal projections are used. A very often used projection therefor is/was the Mercator projection which also is keeping the lines of same azimuth (loxodrom) as straight lines
  • For very small scale maps in publications and for wall maps, often also composed projections are used.
An overview of popular map projections is given in the following table. The main classification is done based on their deformation properties, and their mapping surface. Their main use is given.
Distortion property
Mapping surface
Aspect
Projections
Area of Use (Extent)
conformal
cylinder
normal
  • World
  • equator regions: east-west extent
 
 
 
 
transverse
  • a system for the world except polar region (see UPS)
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • smaller regions, with north-south extent
 
 
 
 
oblique
  • smaller regions, oblique and east-west extent
 
 
cone
normal
  • smaller regions, oblique and east-west extent
 
 
plane
any aspect
  • small regions up to hemisphere
 
 
 
 
polar
  • polar regions, (other regions see UTM)
equal area
cylinder
normal
  • equatorial with east-west extent
 
 
pseudo cylinder
 
 
  • World
 
 
cone
normal
  • smaller regions and continents with east-west extent
 
 
pseudo cone
 
 
  • smaller regions, east-west extent
 
 
plane
any aspect
  • smaller regions, about same north-south, east-west extent
 
 
 
 
mainly equatorial
  • World
equidistant
cylinder
normal
  • World
 
 
 
 
transverse
  • locally used for large scale mapping
 
 
cone
normal
  • smaller regions and continents with east-west extent
 
 
plane
any aspect
  • smaller regions, about same north-south, east-west extent
others
poly- super- ficial
normal
  • locally used for large scale mapping
Overview about often used map projections together with their extential main use [Voser 2003].
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