Working with Map Projections: A Guide to their Selection, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Working with Map Projections

A Guide to their Selection, 1st Edition

By Fritz Kessler, Sarah Battersby

CRC Press

300 pages | 228 Color Illus. | 92 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9781138304987
pub: 2019-07-31
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A map projection fundamentally impacts the map making process. Working with Map Projections: A Guide to their Selection explains why, for any given map, there isn’t a single "best" map projection. Selecting a projection is a matter of understanding the compromises and consequences of showing a 3-D space in two dimensions. It presents a clear understanding of the processes necessary to make logical decisions on selecting an appropriate map projection for a given data set. It discusses the logic needed in the selection process, why certain decisions should be made, and explains the consequences of any inappropriate decision made during the selection process.

This book focuses clearly on explaining the processes involved in selecting a map projection, and how the map projection will impact the map’s ability to fulfill its purpose, uses real world datasets as the basis for the selection of an appropriate map projection, and provides illustrations of an appropriately and inappropriately selected map projection for a given data set. It takes a novel approach to discussing map projections by avoiding an extensive inventory of mathematical formulae and using mathematics of map projections that matter for many mapping tasks. It also presents information that is directly applicable to the process of selecting map projections and is not tied to a specific software package.

Written by leading experts, this book is an invaluable resource for anyone studying or working with geospatial data, from high school students to seasoned professionals and will help readers successfully weigh the pros and cons of choosing one projection over another to suit the map’s intended purpose.

Table of Contents

Introduction. Background. The projection process (basic overview). Map projections’ influence on data representation. Selecting a map projection. Projections in action sections (specific issues by map type). Continuously occurring & smoothly changing (isarithmic symbolization). Continuously occurring & abruptly changing (chorpleth symbolization). Discretely occurring & smoothly changing (dot density). Discretely occurring & abruptly changing (proportional symbol, flow lines, etc.). Special maps, review of phenomena and data representation method. Map Projection Resources.

About the Authors

Fritz Kessler, PhD, is a senior research associate and an associate professor at Penn State University. His primary responsibilities are teaching in the resident and online world campus environments. Some of the courses he has taught include map projections, datums, and coordinate systems, cartography, surveying, GIS, spatial statistics, and research methods. Dr. Kessler's research interests include map projections, geographic visualization, and cognitive cartography. His recent publications include a co-authored book, Thematic Cartography and GeoVisualization; an article, “Volunteered Geographic Information: A Bicycling Enthusiast Perspective” in Cartography and Geographic Information Science; two co-authored papers, “Analysis of Thematic Maps Published in Two Geographical Journals in the Twentieth Century” in Annals of the Association of American Geographers and “Cues for Interpreting Distortion in Map Projections” in Journal of Geography; a co-authored book chapter “Thematic Mapping” in The History of Cartography Project, Volume 6: Cartography in the Twentieth Century; a chapter contribution “Symbolizing America” to Mapping American: Exploring the Continent; and an authored entry “Projections” in the International Encyclopedia of Human Geography. Dr. Kessler earned a PhD in geography in 1999 at the University of Kansas, an MS at Penn State, and a BS at Ohio University. He is a member of the International Cartographic Association Commission on Map Projections, vice president of the North American Cartographic and Information Society, and a board member of the Cartography and Geographic Information Society. He was a former editor in chief of Cartographic Perspectives.

Sarah E. Battersby, PhD, is a senior research scientist at Tableau Software. Her primary area of focus is cartography with an emphasis on cognition. Her work emphasizes how we can help people visualize and use spatial information more effectively. Her research has covered a variety of areas, including perception in dynamic map displays, geospatial technologies and spatial thinking abilities, and the impact of the map projection on spatial cognition. Sarah earned a PhD in geography in 2006 at the University of California at Santa Barbara. She is a member of the International Cartographic Association Commission on Map Projections and a past president (2015-2016) of the Cartography and Geographic Information Society, a society composed of educators, researchers, and practitioners involved in the design, creation, use, and dissemination of geographic information. Dr. Battersby is also a member of the National Geospatial Advisory Committee, a Federal Advisory Committee sponsored by the Department of the Interior under the Federal Advisory Committee Act.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Environmental Science
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Remote Sensing & Geographic Information Systems