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Map projection planes: view from space

February 23 2009 | 0 comments
Categories: ArcGIS Methods

How can I show different map projection surfaces or projection planes 'from space', e.g. cylindrical, conical etc. I would like to recreate diagrams like the ones in:

Map Projections - a working manual
on page 5 (PDF page 15)

I think the diagrams would be useful as a teaching aid for lessons, helping students to visualise different types of projection.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Mapping Center Answer:

We don't show the planes, i.e., cylinders, cones, and such.  To show the graticule use the world30 feature class in your arcgis install in the template data folder:

C:\Program Files\ArcGIS\Bin\TemplateData\TemplateData.gdb\World\WORLD30

Then you can set the data frame's coordinate system to any of the world projected coordinate systems.  You could even add a couple of fields to enumerate ranges of latitude and longitude--making it possible to color code them to demonstrate which colors are more deformed.

You can also use "The World from Space" to create illustrations like those in "Map Projections--A Working Manual" USGS Professional Paper 1395; though you'll need to create the planes to go with this view of the graticule. 

You may also find it useful to add the GEOGRID or CONTINENT datasets from the same location as WORLD30 to further illustrate how specific characteristics of a given coordinate system affects the depiction of a region of the earth.



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