Date: 04/26/99 at 21:24:27 From: Arm Sarkissian Subject: Maps I have a math project due. The question is: Demonstrate the mathematics of creating a flat map of a curved object. I am totally stumped. Can anyone help me? Thanks.
Date: 04/27/99 at 11:43:56 From: Doctor Rick Subject: Re: maps Hello, Arm, welcome to Ask Dr. Math! Your topic is called "map projections." It's a fascinating topic; there is a lot that you could say about this, with some nice pictures too. I hope you enjoy learning about it. The basic problem is this: You can't peel an orange and flatten the peel without tearing it. To put it the other way, you can't wrap aluminum foil around a tennis ball without crinkling the foil. There is no one perfect way to make a flat map of the round earth. People have come up with many ways to do the job; each is good for some purposes and really bad for others. Here is one Web site that contains details of lots of map projections. Map Projection Overview Peter H. Dana, Dept. of Geography, University of Texas at Austin http://www.utexas.edu/depts/grg/gcraft/notes/mapproj/mapproj.html You might find this site a little easier to follow: World of the Atlas: Map Projections (Jan-Willem van Aalst) http://is.twi.tudelft.nl/~jwva/atlas/mprojec.htm Neither of these goes into actual mathematical equations for a map projection, as far as I could see, but you might be able to work out a simple example like a cylindrical projection. You'll probably want to go over how latitude and longitude work before you try this. Also see Cynthia Lanius' site: The Mathematics of Cartography http://math.rice.edu/~lanius/pres/map/ - Doctor Rick, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
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