Cylindrical Map Projections

Cylindrical Map Projections #

The map projection best known by name is certainly the Mercator - one of the cylindricals. Perhaps easiest to draw, if simple tables are on hand, the regular cylindrical projections consist of meridians which are equidistant parallel straight lines, crossed at right angles by straight parallel lines of latitude, generally not equidistant. Geometrically, cylindrical projections can be partially developed by unrolling a cylinder which has been wrapped around a globe representing the Earth, touching at the Equator, and on which meridians have been projected from the center of the globe (fig. 1). The latitudes can also be perspectively projected onto the cylinder for some projections (such as the Cylindrical Equal-Area and the Gall), but not on the Mercator and several others. When the cylinder is wrapped around the globe in a different direction, so that it is no longer tangent along the Equator, an oblique or transverse projection results, and neither the meridians nor the parallels will generally be straight lines.