# maps-2 - MAPS JUDGMENT Steps toward cartographic literacy...

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Steps toward cartographic literacy

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Key Terms Projection Graticule Meridians Parallels Standard lines Great circle Rhumb line Equal area Equal distance Conformal
Mercator projection Why did my plane from Paris go so far out of the way to get to Chicago?

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Mollweide Projection Maybe it didn’t go too far out of the way…
Azimuthal projection (north pole) That explains it! Remember that every projection is a distortion. How is this projection distorted?

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Projections Every map employs some kind of projection to transform spherical surface to flat surface Choice of projection reflects priorities of cartographer in regard to preserving one of the following (or compromising between all) Area Distance Direction Shape Read the Introductory section in your atlas (this is required reading!)
Judgment is inevitable when making maps All maps involve decision-making process There is no “natural” way to draw a map Maps are not reflections of reality but selections of reality Maps can be analyzed and critiqued just like literature to determine what the cartographer believed and thought about the world, and his/ her values, beliefs, objectives, etc. (writings of J.B. Harley, John Pickles, etc.)

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What common words in the English language reflect this tradition of mapping? Orientation Oriented
What are map projections? Projections portray the earth or a portion of the earth on a flat surface Some distortions always result from this process Some projections minimize distortions in certain properties at the expense of other properties while other projections moderately distort all of these properties Conformality and direction Angles and shapes Distance: Measured from the center of the projection to any other place on the map Scale: Relationship between a distance portrayed on a map and a distance on the Earth Area: Large and small areas on map have same ratio of areas as on the globe From Peter Dana, Map Projection Overview

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Graticule A graticule is a spherical grid of coordinate lines Circles perpendicular to the north-south axis are called parallels These follow lines of latitude Semicircular arcs running north-south are called meridians These follow lines of longitude Meridians meet at either pole They are all the same length True to their name, parallels never cross each other They are shorter the closer they are to either pole Every parallel crosses every meridian at 90°
Judgment is inevitable when making maps All maps involve decision-making process There is no “natural” way to draw a map Maps are not reflections of reality but selections of reality Maps can be analyzed and critiqued just like literature to determine what the cartographer believed and thought about the world, and his/ her values, beliefs, objectives, etc. (writings of J.B. Harley, John Pickles, etc.)

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• Spring '08
• Map projection, Michigan Washington Tennessee, Washington Tennessee Massachusetts, Alabama Delaware Oklahoma

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maps-2 - MAPS JUDGMENT Steps toward cartographic literacy...

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