The Mercator Projection: A Map with Benefits and Flaws

TLDR The Mercator Projection, created in 1569, is still widely used today for its ability to accurately represent the shape of objects on a map. However, it fails to accurately represent the size of countries, leading to the development of alternative projections such as the Gaul-Peters and Winkle-Triple.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 The Mercator Projection is a map that was created in 1569 and is still in use today, despite its problems and benefits.
01:46 A projection is a way of putting a sphere onto a flat surface, but it is impossible to do so accurately because a sphere is not flat.
03:15 Gerardus Mercator created a map in 1569 that attempted to systematize what was on a globe with what was on a map, preserving angles and allowing for conformity with angles and constant rum lines across all the meridians, making it ideal for navigation.
04:54 The Mercator projection is widely used by technology companies because it accurately represents the shape of objects on a map, but it fails to accurately represent their size.
06:18 The Gaul-Peters projection is an equal area projection that accurately represents the size of countries, but sacrifices shape and looks odd to most people.
07:51 The Winkle-Triple projection is a compromise map that does a good job, but not a perfect job, at preserving size and area.
09:18 When zoomed out to see the entire Earth, the flaws of the Mercator Projection become evident, and it is recommended to use a globe or a non-cylindrical projection like the Winkle-Triple or the Robinson for displaying the whole world.
Categories: History Education

Browse more History