Resource Mapping

Thursday, March 01, 2007


Please go through the Chapter 1 "Maps, Map Projections and Reading Maps", this will prepare you for this coming Monday's Lecture.


One of the biggest problems in geography is the issue of representing something that is spherical onto a flat piece of paper or computer screen. Not matter what you do - you will introduce distortions, either in the shape that objects are rendered, their distance to each other, their area or direction. For navigation purposes you will need to have accurate distance and direction rather than accurate representation of shape or area. In order to overcome this problem we have projections, which are essentially mathematical formula to contain distortions and to select which type of accuracy is needed. You will be using a simple Java Applet which interactively changes the projection of the World. To help guide you, each continent has been rendered in a different colour and we have squares in alternating shades of Grey. My examing the squares and noting their distortion in shape and their alignment to each other you can deduce what parameters are getting distorted with the various projections.


Examine how different projections distort the representation of the Earth's surface.


Gain an understanding of how projections work.

Know which projection system is most suitable to which application.


Spatial awareness of the errors implicit in every map printed on or on your computer screen.


Using the Java Applet located at

Prepare 10 projections and describe what variables you used (Projection, Map centre, East angle, North Angle and Direction). In addition describe how the projection has been distorted with respect to distance, area, shape and direction. Use the Squares to see how these parameters have been distorted. Please provided some references to guide your interpretation of the project and its implicit errors.

In order to make images of the project, you will need to use Windows Print Screen button (its marked on your keyboard in the top right area). This willcopy the entire screen into your Window Clipboard. Now open your graphic program, e.g. Windows Paint and simply paste your Clipboard image (keystrokes CTRL V)into the program. You will now need to clip the area of interest which should only be your World Map and the selected options for projection above. The select marquee in Window Paint will allow you to draw a box of the intended new image, cutting out the rest of the screen capture. Once the area is select you can copy this (CTRL C) and the insert the cropped image into your report with a comprehensive caption below the screen capture.

Print a hard copy and hand in directly to Richard Knight PLUS UPLOAD the document via ftp to the following directory

Document name: Initial_Surname_GIS_2007_assignment_2


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