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Map Projection Types

Cylindrical Projection

A cylindrical projection map is the most common type of map that we see. Imagine placing the movie screen around the globe in a cylinder shape. The projection that results is depicted in this image. Notice that areas close to the equator have very little distortion. However, the closer to the poles that one travels, the more distorted the map becomes. In this example, Greenland appears to be many times larger than it really is.

Cylindrical Map Projection


Conic Projection

A conic projection map is created by placing a cone shaped screen on a globe. The resulting projection is more accurate than the cylindrical projection map discussed above. However, the further we travel down the map, the more distorted and less accurate the map becomes.

Conic Map Projection

Plane Projection

A plane projection is created by placing an imaginary screen directly above or below a globe. The image that would result is called a plane projection. This type of map projection is not commonly used.

Plane Map Projection

Interrupted Projection

There are many different types of interrupted projection maps. These types of maps try to depict the continents as accurately as possible by leaving blank space in the less important areas of the map, such as in the oceans.

Interrupted Map Projection