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Using GCS instead of a projected system for major presentation maps...(rant)

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#1
David Medeiros

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Quick rant about map projections for important presentations...

 

...when presenting to a national audience, at the white house, try to use something other than GCS.

 

Below is a screen grab from Jack Dangermond's recent speech at the White House about their climate data initiatives (pretty cool). But the opening map of the US looked awful. I'm sure this only matters to cartographers and geographers, but I would have thought that included Jack and Esri.

 

I mocked up the layout Esri brought with what it could have looked like with just 3 extra minutes work on the various projections (becasue the screenshot is hard to see).

 

On top of the lack of a projection, I think the image was stretched which made it even worse.

 

Attached File  ESRI_US_WHmap.jpg   101.67KB   6 downloads

 

Attached File  ESRI_US_GCS.jpg   67.25KB   4 downloads

 

Attached File  ESRI_US_Proj.jpg   69.62KB   3 downloads


  • Bogdanovits and Strebe like this

GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

 

www.mapbliss.com

 


#2
Strebe

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Bizarre.

#3
Hans van der Maarel

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Looks stretched to me as well.

 

But yeah, I'm with you on this one. A little bit of extra effort would have made for a more pleasing image.


Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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#4
l.jegou

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It seems that more and more setting a good projection to a map is overlooked. ESRI just published/endorsed an interactive web map with ... a Mercator projection : http://www.wearehappyfrom.com/



#5
David Medeiros

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It seems that more and more setting a good projection to a map is overlooked. ESRI just published/endorsed an interactive web map with ... a Mercator projection : http://www.wearehappyfrom.com/

 

As maligned as the mercator is, I understand why they would have been ok with it for a web map. It's the standard projection for all dynamic web maps. I'm not sure it's the best choice but there are reasons to avoid most other projections in web maps, namely the curvature of the parallels. A projected map that warps a lot around its central meridian will look odd on screen as you zoom into sections away from the CM. Labels in particular would be misaligned. But I'm sure there are other good choices.

 

With publication maps though, there is no reason to use a bad projection or, as in this case, no projection at all. And if you do set a projection on a map with insets, the insets get their own projection.

 

I'm kinda torn on this really. I see how minor this is in the overall picture of the presentation they made, but I also see it as an indicator of just how lazy GIS makes map makers. Not that that's a surprise, but I would have expected in this situation, from this organization, they would have been more careful.


GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

 

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