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More Q & A

Here are some of the search queries people are using to get to this blog.

Q: what part of the earth is squeezed into a smaller area by the Mercator projection?

A: Things near the equator are smaller and their size is exaggerated the closer they get to the poles.  Now to appease the Map Geek in me: It depends on where the cartographer has applied the line of tangency.  By the way, you will never see a Mercator map that covers the whole world -the extreme polar areas are trimmed off, or else they would stretch off into infinity.

Q: coordinates N 11 DEGREES 33′ 0"  E104′ 51′ 00"

A: These are the coordinates of Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  Random enough for you?  Angelina Jolie has that tattooed on her arm; it is the birthplace of one of her children.

Q: straight line on platte carree projection

A: I’ll read this as, "does a straight line in the real world still look straight in Platte Carre?"  Yes.  If you were to fly in a perfectly straight line, it would actually look like a straight line on a Platte Carre map -because it is a Cylindrical .  The same goes for Mercator.

Also, this is a good chance to clarify the spelling of Platte Carre: it’s all over the place.  Often it is spelled Platte Carree, though I have seen it with any number of e’s, r’s and t’s.  It’s origin is French and refers to the words Flat Square because it takes the lines of latitude and longitude and geometrically transforms them into an equally-spaced grid (flat squares).

One response

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    October 13, 2008 at 4:30 am

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