Adaptive Projection Mapping
You may have noticed that most popular online mapping sites use Mercator projections, which distort the shape of large, northern countries, like Canada, and makes it difficult to accurately interpret relative distance as the latitude increases. Mercator is a cylindrical projection, that shows polar countries at an exaggerated size compared to equatorial countries at small scales. Notice on most online maps how Greenland is the same size as South America, where in reality, the area of South America is more than 8 times that of Greenland!
Some exciting work is being done at Oregon State University with adaptive projection web maps using HTML5 canvas. Depending on your zoom level and geographic area, the map will automatically select the best representation. Try the links below to the interactive maps, and watch how the grid lines change as you rotate and zoom in on the map. You’ll see a drastic improvement in how Canada is represented. These maps also offer an improvement in smooth map animation, making the transitions between projections seamless. We think this proof of concept research will be making its way into the mainstream very soon.
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Try The Adaptive Composite Map Projections
Try The Modifying the Quartic Authalic Projection with Wagner's Method Map