View Full Version : What's the best map for my classroom?

04-05-2008, 05:48 PM
I am a Middle School Social Studies teacher. I've taught European & South American history and geography for 4 years, and will probably be teaching Africa and Asia next year. I've always known and taught about map distortions, and I have a globe that I use in class, but I would like to get a good wall map that shows the actual differences in land size.

Peter's Projection maps seem impossible to buy, and I was looking for more opinions.

Thank you,
Andy Stover

04-05-2008, 06:20 PM
Hi Andy, and welcome to the Guild. Although we have more than a few cartographers here who specialise in 'real world' cartography, most of us approach mapmaking more as an art than a science. If you would like a load of professional opinions in addition to any information you get here, you might want to try posting your question on www.cartotalk.com which caters to people who do real world cartography for a living.

All the best


04-06-2008, 12:33 AM
Peter's Projection maps seem impossible to buy, and I was looking for more opinions.

I think it is well established with most geographers trained in projections that the Peter's projection (also known as Gall-Peters Projection) is as poor a representation of land mass size as Mercator's (which was designed for navigation, not for representation of land mass size). See: Rhumb Lines and Map Wars: A Social History of the Mercator Projection by Mark Monmonier. Any National Geographic map not using Mercator's projection should be a good representation of relative land mass size. I would suggest an interrupted projection because the Winkel Tripel and Robinson projections typically distort the shapes of eastern Asia and the Americas. Interrupted also preserves shapes as well as areas.

Well, after the long soliloquy, a search of Amazon.com and Maps.com found no interrupted projections. Must have fallen out of favor. They were all over the place when I was young. I guess National Geographic's Winkel Tripel is the next best thing. Or a map that separates the hemispheres. See National Geographic World Hemispheres Wall Map (http://www.maps.com/map.aspx?nav=MS&cid=1,24&pid=16704)

04-06-2008, 12:40 PM
I think my favourite projection to use to show the differences in projections (and how odd they can make the world look) is the Hammer retroazimuthal projection, which was created to display a straight line from anywhere in the world to mecca.

i attachd a quick screenshot... i found it on this site http://www.galleryofmapprojections.com/Azimuthal.html which has a whole bunch of projections in pdf format, which you can probably print out easily (i dunno at what size however) to show these differences...

04-07-2008, 04:27 PM
Here is a great site for map projections (http://mathworld.wolfram.com/topics/MapProjections.html). It's especially good if you are looking to implement one in software, because it shows the functions used to project the map as well as the inverse.

Whatever Stephen Wolfram's personality defects, he knows his math. Or someone working for him does...