[...]Topology and Projections: 21st Century Cartography « Kelso’s Corner[...]…

]]>I wonder if we’re coming to a point where the raster distortion grids and “bump” mapping techniques of 3d can get graphed back into the 2d cartographic main stream?

The computer processing power seems to be here. Now we just want good algorithms and tools.

I see tools like Bernhard Jenny’s MapAnalyst (http://mapanalyst.cartography.ch/) which evaluates the “inaccuracy” in old maps and think this could be turned into a forward projection algorithm.

Indeed, Bernhard’s other tool, Flex Projector (http://www.flexprojector.com/) allows cartographers to “mashup” their own projection based on mathematical formulas.

Photoshop’s mesh-distort free transformation tool makes it so I don’t even need to know the original projection to “deproject” the hurricane maps I get from NOAA before projecting them onto a new projection. Amazing!

The next step is to represent such novel projections not as formulas but as distortion grids and store the final positional distortions resulting from cartogram creation logic ala Josh’s Dorling cartogram programming in this format (http://indiemaps.com/blog/2008/02/i-got-better/). This can then be the filter geographic long-lats can be projected thru.

For an example showing the London Underground map in this format with diagrams, see: http://jenny.cartography.ch/pdf/2006_Jenny_DistortedNetworkMaps.pdf.

Having implemented an interrupted map projection (look, 6 projections in 1!) for a forthcoming project for The Washington Post I totally hear you on the time and resources needed to accomplish this.

I remember when ArcMap couldn’t deal with the 180° seam. Hopefully we’ll be able to deal with interruptions in a like fashion in the future.

Let’s hope people like Bernie and Josh keep advancing this area of cartography.

_nathaniel

]]>Kudos for pulling together a compelling editorial.

– daan Strebe

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