Compare Map Projections
Last Update: Feb 20, 2017 (see below)
This site ist about map projections, specifically
about world map projections.
A map projection is needed to show the spherical surface of the earth on a flat map (see What’s a Map Projection?).
There is some info about projections (see below), but more importantly, it’s about their appearance: Out of more than 150 different map projections you can select two at a time to view their differences and similarities in a direct comparison.
Sometimes, two map projections might look so similar that it’s hard to tell the difference.
Sometimes, you might see the difference but want to study it more closely.
Maybe you want to compare the distortions which are present in each and every map projection.
Or maybe you dont’t want to compare map projections but rather browse a bunch of nice projection images.
You can do all of that here on this website.
For more detailed information about the spirit and purpose of this website, read What’s this all about?
To select thw two projections you’d like to compare, you’ve got four options:
- In the Selection Form you can choose two projections from the menus;
- in the List of projections you can see the names of and some basic information about the provided projections – again, you can choose two of them to compare (at the time being, this might not work on small screens);
- in the Selection via Thumbnail you can pick the desired projections… well, from a list of thumnails;
- and the Suggested Pairings provide a list of projections, always in twos, being (in my opinion) recommonable pairings.
If you’re not familiar with map projection names, options no. 3 and 4 might be the best for you.
Die two projections you’ve chosen will be compared in three (simple mode) resp. eight (expert mode) different
Sometimes you’ll see only one projection image at first and you’ll have to click it to switch to the second projection. Sometimes the images will be layered on top of each other semi-transparently.
I’m confused by these different kinds of comparison!
If you don’t want to compare but rather view the projections individually, head over to the
Single View Section.
Maybe you want to share an image of you favorite map projection via email or social networks? – Okay, this can be done in the Single View section!
Are there any informations about map projections here?
In case you came here in search of informations about map projections – well, yeah, some basics are provided here:
- For each projection, a few facts (the creator, year of creation, metric properties etc.) are listed;
- there are some articles covering Basic Knowledge about Map Projections;
- and in the chapter Selected Projections I’m discussion a few chosen projections.
Nonetheless, I highly recommend the site that are listed in the Links section! They are more extensive, more precise and better written than my own articles.
Feb 20, 2017
- Added McBryde-Thomas #2 and Canters optimization of Wagner VII.
- Strebe Asymmetric 2011 is now available using the full set of comparison images and the usual visual appearance.
- In the WVG (see below) you now can select to display Tissot’s indicatrix for a better evaluation of the distortions in the projection you’ve generated.
Feb 9, 2017
This year marks the 111. anniversary of Karlheinz Wagner’s birth. Let’s celebrate this repdigit birthday with an update that’s all about Wagner:
- Canters optimization of Wagner VIII was added.
- Wagner-Böhm I to IV are now available with all images, incl. Tissot and silhouette images, so finally, they can be compared decently to other projections.
- Part 3 of my article series regarding Wagner’s work was added. Contrary to my prior announcements, it is not about Wagner variations but about Wagner’s transformation method that easily allows the derivation of variations: Das Umbeziffern – don’t fret, the article is in English. ;-)
And finally – maybe the most important part of this update:
I came up with a little tool that lets you play with the method of Umbeziffern. By changing a fistful of numerical values you can see the variation possibilities based on Wagner VII/VIII:
Have fun with the Wagner Variations Generator (WVG)!
Dec 9, 2016
Catching up on conformals, part 2:
Adams world in a square I and II, Adams hemispheres in a square, elliptic conformal, Lagrange in another configuration, Guyou conformal.
- The previous images of the Briesemeister projection were replaced. Since the name Briesemeister is associated with a specific configuration of the Hammer projection, I felt compelled to match this configuration exactly, so I moved the projection center from the Greenwich meridian to 10° east.
Nov 19, 2016
- So far, I neglected conformal projections a bit. Therefore I added three of them: August Epicycloidal, Eisenlohr and Lagrange. A few more will follow shortly.
Furthermore, I added Philbrick Sinu-Mollweide and the Times projection.
And another Winkel Tripel variant which I called Winkel Tripel BPOC. It might have been used before, but not using this name. For more information, see What’s the Winkel Tripel BOPC?
- The images of the Larrivée projection were somewhat flawed, so they were replaced by better ones.
Aug 16, 2016
- Added new projections: Airy Minimum Error Azimuthal, Hatano Asymmetric, Laskowski Tri-Optimal, Synder Minimum Error Flat-Pole, Synder Minimum Error Pointed-Pole, Strebe-Snyder Flat-Pole, Strebe-Snyder Pointed-Pole.
- Peirce Quincuncial Projection is now available using the same imagery as (nearly) all other projections and in all styles (i.e. Tissot indicatrix images etc).
- Approximations of Eckert II and Tobler Hyperelliptical were replaced by images generated from the original formula.
- My own experiment, the Wagner-Denoyer, was renamed to Wagner-Denoyer I because an additional variant, the Wagner-Denoyer II, was added. See Wagner-Denoyer Projections.
- The Wagner IX variant that was previously listed as Wagner Y5 was renamed to Wagner IX.i – read Naming Wagner IX.i for more information.
July 28, 2016
As announced, I added a longer review of the Wagner-Denoyer projection.
(Still to be continued…)
July 16, 2016
- In light of recent events, I added an article about Naming Canters’ Projections.
June 11, 2016
- A short(!) introduction of my own attempt at map projections: The Wagner-Denoyer projection. A longer review will be given later! Sometime. Soon. I hope.
June 6, 2016
May 28, 2016
Finally, the article The Wagner Projections (Part 2): Usage is available.
And because of that, the Patterson and Strebe articles will be updated soon…
- I’ve applied a few changes which should enhance your browsing experience on this site if you’re using a mobile device with a small screen (commonly referred to as smartphone). Further changes in this regard will be made anytime soon, but I’m not going to report them here.
To be honest, this is a bit of a »quick & dirty« update – for nearly five months, nothing has happened
here, so I was in a rush to get the stuff online at last. So in case you’ll find any typos
more typos than usual in the new article; in case something shouldn’t work… fear not! In the days and weeks to come,
I’ll take care of it.
Jan 5, 2016
- Gall Isographic, Gall-Bomford, Kavraisky I, Raisz Half-Ellipsoidal in two variants.
- New article about the Wagner projections. I split up this article: Part 1 is available, part 2 is coming soon.
- In this context, I’ve build a Wagner IV approximation for use in the Flex Projector.
Dec 18, 2015
- A few minor edits on the Hufnagel projections article.
Dec 15, 2015
- Finally, I’m able to generate the Hufnagel projection images myself. Thus, they’re available now using the same base images as (nearly) all other projections and include the full set of silhouette and Tissot indicatrix images.
- Since the »alternative« images of Eckert IV and Behrmann were included only for better comparison to the old Hufnagel images, they were removed.
The image of the Tobler hyperelliptical projection was replaced by a very close approximation.
Learn more about this in the article Approximations.
Dec 4, 2015
All projection images (well, almost all, anyway) are now optionally available using a physical map image showing the ocean with flat blue tint. You can toggle between the old and the new images using the menu Viewing Options in the upper right corner of each page.
For more information, read the Viewing Options article.
In the Single View Section there are Previous/Next navigation buttons now. You can use them to navigate through
all avaiable projection images without being forced to return to the overview.
Note: In case you’ve set filters, these buttons will refer to the given selection. For Example, if you’ve used the filters to get a list of pseudocylincrical equal-area projections only, the Prev/Next buttons will navigate through this list, i.e. you will see nothing but pseudocylincrical equal-area projections.
Nov 17, 2015
- The Hufnagel projections finally get some attention. Therefore, I revised and extended the Hufnagel article.
Oct 26, 2015
- If you apply filters on Compare via thumbnails or in the Single View, the current settings are now saved to you don’t have to re-apply them when you go back to that page.
Renamed Putnins P4 to Craster’s Parabolic.
After all, it was Mr. Craster who developed this projection first (which Putnins duly noted when he introduced his series of projection).
- Added Nicolosi Globular and Quartic Authalic
Added silhouette and Tissot indicatrix maps for Hufnagel 7, 9 und 10.
Note that these are approximations.
- For the sake of better comparability, I replaced the previously used image of Eckert II projection with an approximation using the same base image as most other projections.
- And since I now work with approximations, I added a chapter about approximations.
Sept 23, 2015
Added of few projections by F. Webster McBryde:
McBryde-Thomas #1 and the uninterrupted versions of McBryde-Thomas Flat Polar Sinusoidal, McBryde P3, McBryde Q3, McBryde S2.
Sometime soon, I’m going to add the (more common) interrupted versions as well, though I’m not sure yet whether to present the interruptions according to Goode’s scheme (for better comparability) or to McBryde’s own design (in order to show them as the creator intended) or both kinds (in order to add some clutter)… ;-)
Sept 10, 2015
Added eight cylindric projections:
Arden-Close, BSAM, Kharchenko-Shabanova, Miller Perspective Compromise, Tobler’s variant of Miller Cylindrical 1 and 2, Urmayev II and III.
Aug 28, 2015
There’s a new article about two really beautiful equal-area projections:
Strebe 1995 and Strebe Asymmetric 2011
Aug 15, 2015
Added projections from the Flex
A4 Projection, Ciric I, Cropped Ginzburg VIII, Dedistort, Hammer-Cylindrical.
Aug 7, 2015
- Completed the Patterson article with a paragraph about the usage as decorative map.
Aug 3, 2015
- Added Patterson Cylindrical Projection and Compact Miller.
- Added an article about the Patterson Cylindrical Projection.
- The images of the Equirectangular projection with standard parallels at 40° were replaced with ones having the standard parallels at 36.5° (for better comparability to Patterson).
Jul 19, 2015
- Added Strebe Asymmetric 2011, plus an alternate depiction of Strebe 1995 for better comparability.
- Added Braun Perspective Cylindrical projection.
- For better comparability among the azimuthal projections, added the hemisphere views of Gott-Mugnolo Azimuthal and the Azimuthal Equidistant Projection.
Jun 22, 2015
New article: »Scaled to fit« vs. »Scaled to same width«
Explains why I felt compelled to add these two kinds of comparison.
South-up mode: You can view all map projections upside-down, i.e. with the south pole on top.
Jun 11, 2015
- map-projections.net gets launched.