Animated Map Projections

I'm not a cartographer, but I play one at work. And this is what you get when you have a slow week, a ton of powerful mapping software, and a GIF animator. I would have made them bigger, but the file sizes for animation get large fast. And since I did them at work, all maps Copyright Hammond World Atlas Corporation.

Typical Wall Map Projections

Note - these are not animated. I figured they'd be boring.


Reasonably true within 15º of the equator, but distortion in higher latitudes makes Greenland & Antarctica look huge. Useful for navigation because all compass directions appear as straight lines. (Gerardus Mercator, 1560)


Based on tables of coordinates, not mathematical formulas. Created to produce minimal area and angular distortion. (Commissioned by Rand McNally and Company, 1961)



Azimuthal Equidistant - Distances measured from the center are true. The center of the projection is the only point without distortion. (Known by the Egyptians 2000 years ago, but they didn't have a GIF animator)

A circular-shaped projection whose oblique view is the only projection in which directions and distances are depicted accurately from the projection's center point to any other place on the globe. Any straight line passing through the center is a great circle route. Distortion of areas and shapes increases away from the center.


Bonne - (by Rigober Bonne, the worlds only true romantic cartographer. Created as a box cover design for his other, more renowned invention - chocolate covered Bonne-Bonnes). Cries out for a slogan, like "Love makes the world go 'round" or "Love it or leave it".

Created by Rigober Bonne in the mid-1700's. Conic, equal-area. Scale is true along the central meridian and along all parallels. Parallels are divided truly and the connecting curves make the meridians. Scale is true along the central meridian and along all parallels. Used for maps of the northern continents.


Oblique Mercator - This is your projection. And this is your projection on drugs. Any questions?

Developed 1900-50 by Rosenmund, Laborde, Hotine, and others. Published first by Rosenmund in 1903 where it was used for topographic mapping of Switzerland. Two meridians 180º apart are straight lines.

Polyconic Polyconic - Free of distortion only along the central meridian. (Ferdinand R. Hassler, 1820). Slogan - "Kiss my world".
Stereographic Stereographic - Scale increases away from the center of the projection. Mainly used for polar maps. (Hipparchus, 2nd century B.C., who died penniless because no one understood it. ...that, and because pennies weren't invented yet)

I hope Hipparchus et. al. forgives the humor. But what are we if we can't laugh? (Answer: sad)