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Local poles for Mercator Projection Maps

Be big!
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(+8, -1)
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The world is commonly depicted with a Mercator preojection map. These are fine, but look how big Greenland is. Really it is not much bigger than Mexico but it appears 10 times the size. Plus Russia is obscene. A lot of map area is dedicated to circumpolar areas which have very little in them but are artifically enlarged by the Mercator technique. Places with lots of things worth labelling have the labels crammed together because the things are so small on the Mercator map.

I propose that for purposes of mapping, the pole be placed near the locality where people will be using the map - for example, Texas. Texas will be enormous on such a map and occupy much paper, allowing greater detail for local features. Objects more distant from Texas will shrink in size, with the least paper devoted to objects farthest away - which for Texas and nearly every other populated area will be the poles, and they do not require much paper to do them justice. Of course objects on the opposite side of the earth will be as large as Texas, which is unavoidable but might be partially compensated by using some nonimportant beige or taupe in their depiction.

bungston, Dec 17 2009

Mercator projection http://en.wikipedia...Mercator_projection
[bungston, Dec 17 2009]

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       I think the Indian Ocean is on the opposite side of the Earth from Texas.
DrWorm, Dec 17 2009

       I would like to see this, but i don't think it'd be useful. There would be a lot of distortion and the "centre" of the map would be infinitely far away from everything else. I know that's not literally true but i can't express it clearly because of the whole aleph-one thang.   

       Have you considered using Mollweide but putting the most important location at the centre? Or a dodecahedral projection onto the faces secant to the caps of the geoid (don't quite know how to put that either)?
nineteenthly, Dec 17 2009

       Put Texas on the bottom.
lurch, Dec 17 2009

       Either way up, that would give it infinite area. Is that what you want?
nineteenthly, Dec 17 2009

       But Greenland is so much more important than Texas, it deserves to be bigger.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Dec 17 2009

       Objects within Texas will be very long and thin.
pocmloc, Dec 17 2009

       They'll also be closer than they appear.
nineteenthly, Dec 17 2009

       Because of all the infiniteness, Texas would need to be either at the top or the bottom of the map, and the artifical pole (for example, Lubbock) would spread across the entire top of the map. For that reason maybe the artificial pole should be placed in a body of water as street maps would be difficult to depict.
bungston, Dec 17 2009

       This is a local pole, for local people.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 17 2009

       If the map were printed sideways on a flag, then the pole could be the pole.
pocmloc, Dec 17 2009

       It would help Winnie the Poo.
nineteenthly, Dec 18 2009

xenzag, Dec 18 2009

MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 18 2009

       I think it's a great idea - and somewhat reminiscent of the old(e) world(e) maps where the country of origin tended to take prominence in the centre.
zen_tom, Dec 18 2009

       If you can get a map in HEALPix data format, it should be fairly trivial to render it on demand in Mercator projection, oriented however you want. It actually sounds like a fun little software challenge, not over a couple dozen lines of Python code.
lurch, Dec 19 2009

       //Put Texas on the bottom.//   

       There's often a section near the pole that's not shown at all because it would be too distorted. Put Texas there.
ldischler, Dec 19 2009


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