Adaptive composite map projections

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

All major web mapping services use the web Mercator projection. This is a poor choice for maps of the entire globe or areas of the size of continents or larger countries because the Mercator projection shows medium and higher latitudes with extreme areal distortion and provides an erroneous impression of distances and relative areas. The web Mercator projection is also not able to show the entire globe, as polar latitudes cannot be mapped. When selecting an alternative projection for information visualization, rivaling factors have to be taken into account, such as map scale, the geographic area shown, the mapÊs height-to-width ratio, and the type of cartographic visualization. It is impossible for a single map projection to meet the requirements for all these factors. The proposed composite map projection combines several projections that are recommended in cartographic literature and seamlessly morphs map space as the user changes map scale or the geographic region displayed. The composite projection adapts the mapÊs geometry to scale, to the mapÊs height-to-width ratio, and to the central latitude of the displayed area by replacing projections and adjusting their parameters. The composite projection shows the entire globe including poles; it portrays continents or larger countries with less distortion (optionally without areal distortion); and it can morph to the web Mercator projection for maps showing small regions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6327263
Pages (from-to)2575-2582
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics
Volume18
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • HTML5 Canvas
  • Multi-scale map
  • web cartography
  • web map projection
  • web mapping
  • web Mercator

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