Low-error equal-area map projections for global mapping of the terrestrial environment

Frank Canters, Tomas Crols

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperResearch


Many applications at the global or continental scale involve area-based analysis. Global data sets are therefore often mapped in equal-area reference systems. Use of standard equal-area map projections for global mapping inevitably leads to substantial scale distortion and angular distortion in peripheral areas. In this paper an equal-area polynomial transformation is applied to produce low-error pseudocylindrical equal-area projections for global terrestrial applications, using both non-interrupted and interrupted map designs. Results show that for continuous representations of the Earth's surface average distortion of scale can be substantially reduced, depending on the equal-area projection one starts from. For interrupted projections, overall improvement in scale distortion is limited, yet distortion patterns are better adapted to the distribution of the continental area within each zone of the graticule, leading to less extreme distortion in the periphery, especially in zones with high longitudinal extent.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 25th International Cartographic Conference, Paris, 3-8 July 2011
PublisherInternational Cartographic Association
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)978-1-907075-05-6
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2011
EventUnknown -
Duration: 3 Jul 2011 → …

Publication series



Period3/07/11 → …


  • map projection
  • equal-area map
  • map distortion
  • low-error projection

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