Mercator Map Vs. Peter's Map Projection Global Societies Essay

638 words - 3 pages

Map Projection
GSTT- Green
Matthew Williams
Mrs. Janice Truitt
The Mercator and the Peter’s Projection Map are so different for multiple reasons. For decades there has been an abundant of research, tests and hypothesis that have been made to try and figure out why the two are so different and which is the most accurate form of the earth. When regarding to the Mercator map, it is represented as a flat surface. When looking at the globe it is spherical, however, once you take a look at the Mercator Map it is not spherical but is cylindrical. Why did this happen? When looking at the globe you notice that there aren’t any straight lines connecting to any two places. To relive the difficulties of trying to navigate from place to place, the Mercator Map formed a cylindrical view point opening the ends at the poles and with imaginary lines that cuts all meridians at the same angle, forming straight lines making it easier to navigate from location to location. As this may bring many advantages, this projection distorts the size and shape of approaching countries, continents and oceans. As this projection was originally used for navigation, it was inappropriately used in addition as a world map. As a result of this, the size and shape of different areas are much bigger and smaller than they actually are. When regarding to the Peter’s Map, all of the sizes of countries, continents and oceans are correct. With the Peter’s Map, it is an accurate representation of how big or small areas are and how far away they are from each other regardless of how it may appear on the map. All lines are either horizontal or vertical with precise directional relationships to all positions on the map. Although the map does use a rectangular coordinate system, the parallel lines of longitude and latitude are accurately shown. However, even though the coordinates and the calculations of all the areas may be correct, the image of the map does not show what is portrayed. Meaning that the shape of countries, continents and oceans are inaccurate with those that are portrayed on the globe. The main difference between the Mercator and the Peter’s Map is that the Peters map accurately shows the size, location and area of the continents, countries and oceans but not the accurate shape. Whereas with the Mercator’s Map, it accurately shows the shapes and directions of the countries, continents and oceans but not the correct size of the areas. When considering which map I would use to determine which is most accurate, it puts me in an obscure state of mind. I believe that if you plan on traveling and need directions to get there then the Mercator Map would be the best option because of its accurate sense of direction and linear patterns. However, if you are more focusing on geographical information and exact pin-points of how far one area is from another or trying to determine which land is bigger/ smaller than the other is, then the Peter’s Map would be the best choice because of its accuracy of location and size. Even though these two maps are not 100% accurate by themselves, using them both together can get you closer to what the actual measurements are and what the correct distances between one another is. Although it may seem as if these are the only two maps around, they are actually only 2 out of the 5 maps that exist today. Each map has its own unique sense and specific characteristic that it focuses on, whether it is a specific location on the geography or certain regions of the globe that you may want to pin-point, it is entirely up to the user to determine which map suites their needs the best for their particular task.


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