Here are the things I like about this one: 1) It has a grip that's not super rubbery and thus doesn't attract lint. It's very firm. Yet it still provides enough friction to act as a grip. 2) It has a retractable tip with a very satisfying deep "clack" or "clock" sound when you extend the pipe. You carry this in your pocket with no worries about lint on the grip or jabbing yourself. 3) The metal parts are not chromed, but have a matte finish. The matte look really makes it look professional, not as cheap. 4) The eraser cap seems to have a clever anti-choking mechanism in case a child swallows it. 5) The muted colors (I have the desaturated blue one) are really pleasant to the eye. There's a very slight sparkle to the finish. 6) There is no give--the tolerances are right on. No parts jiggling around when you operate the clutch mechanism, etc. 7) I'm a designer, and feel that the ratios and overall organic vs. inorganic breakdown of the physical design are right on. It's easy to sit down and draw a pencil tip that is really ugly; developing just the right ratio and curvature that make it look graceful is not nearly as easy. 8) The balance in the hand is great.
You can find these _individual_ elements in other pencils, but they're all there together in this model, so it's a really nice experience.
things like sculpted juicers with limited production runs for artificially inflated price did much to murky that very simple distinction.
What is the state of active research in cartography? Map making used to be one of the most prized technical skills and I was wondering where the field is moving.
First thing that came to mind was new d3 transform...
I was exposed to hundreds of map projections in school, so I'm still kind of trying to figure out what the novelty is here. It just looks like a Japan-centrerd equal-area projection. The tetrahedron is kind of neat. Projections are generally planar, cylindrical, or conical. By using a mosaic of planes, I imagine the formula for this projection would be unbelievably complex, making it much less general purpose.
When you want to represent a spheroid on a 2d surface, you have to distort one or more of shape, area, direction, distance. The objective when selecting a projection is to understand the intended purpose and audience.
If I had to make a guess, I'd say the relevance here is the exploration of what projections we most commonly use and if they're still the best choices for today's purposes and audiences.
I would love to see what Tissot's indicatrix looks like for this projection.
You make it sound as if it's unusual. Of course they prefer Japan in the middle, they're in Japan! Just like Brits (I presume) have a huge love for Britain-centered maps. I'll bet not a single world map in British textbooks has the world cut in the Atlantic.
I am not sure about other countries but European maps are always oriented for north. Which works fine when you read them in book, but not necessarily when you are looking at big guide map on the street. Yes, sure, this map may show red "you are here" mark, but it is still difficult to find out your way as a map itself is always oriented to north, while you may not be.
Japanese street maps are oriented on you (most of them). When you're standing in front of it - "up" on map always means "go forward". Which might be confusing at the beginning, if you came from Europe. But the more you look at them, the more easy it is to find your way.
I'm usually working in an EPSG code, and of the 4,000+ EPSG codes I probably use 10 regularly and perhaps have used 100 in my lifetime (if anything, that's an overestimate). They are designed this way, most of them simply represent a small area of the earths surface well. Since I primarily work in the Northeast United States, I don't need to use a whole lot of them.
I'm playing loose with terms here, the EPSG codes are really 'spatial references' made up of various 'projections' and 'coordinate systems' and 'datums' and etc. I usually find it easier to just talk about spatial references because they are so commonly used as a shortcut approach as opposed to individually selecting the attributes that make up the spatial references.
Cartography includes an incredible wide body of work, defined largely by the data sets being used, the audience/purpose of the display, and the medium.
For example, if we narrow our focus to just models of the actual world this includes surveys, navigation programs, hiking maps, remote sensing rasters, etc. - all of which have very little overlap concerning data, audience, and medium.
I build geography products, but I'm not a researcher - hopefully someone with more research experience can chime in, but perhaps your questions is too broad given how deep various geography niches can run. I know I certainly haven't even started to answer your question.
Displaying state/country level data using EPSG:4326 isn't great, thankfully it doesn't happen often.
One of the strengths and success criteria of the Mercator projection is that it allows us to largely ignore the vastness of the Pacific Ocean on our maps.
Notice how much of this map is taken up by it. While interesting from a planetary perspective, it simply isn't that important to everyday life of most map users.
The proposed design thus has too low a land area to map area ratio to be very useful.
The projection itself would be useful as a digital map (with zooming and panning) or as an icon, though.
...which would be indeed useful if your country and its neighbors are on the opposite side of the Earth from the Pacific. If your country and most of its important trade partners are sitting right around the Pacific, the "strength" is now shortcoming.
Frankly, I didn't know so many people would claim that a world map centered around Europe has some inherent virtue, instead of being the result of local convenience (nothing wrong with that). This is the same kind of feel-good story as "Fahrenheit is superior because 0 and 100 are at human level."
This equal-area map dramatically distorts the shapes of the landmasses, and they're the very thing the map is there to show. Brazil is pregnant; Australia has a tumour; China is smaller than Australia, instead of being 25% larger; Saudi Arabia is as big as India; so on and so forth. The projection lines on the map do not match up with how humans see things - this is not a map for humans to use, since the only way to make sense of it in a practical way is to interpret it with a tool.
All of them are wildly inaccurate in terms of proportions and distances. But notice - almost all are oriented to people not very familiar with that area. Certain big monuments may be left out (the highway that runs by water park, the big electric station across the street etc.
I'm trying to think of this not from a prescriptive position, though, but thinking of "why do people like Mercator". And I believe that people like the perceived efficiency of Mercator, in the sense that you can make a world map that fills more of its area with land mass.
Or, addressing your comment more pointedly: yes, yes you can. You can ignore the Pacific Ocean on a world map most of the time. :D
So: this map has very good properties in some sense, very bad in others.
This map may solve some imaginary problem of public perception, but at the cost of losing valuable information easily gleaned from other maps,like northern and southern hemisphere, which places share the same latitude, which places share the same longitude. These are physical distinctions which matter.
I guess I am trying to say that a map that accurately represents the area of seas is potentially not what everyday map users want from a world map.
But I see that they optimized for that instead of my vague sense of usability. :-)
Totally agreed!!! To say nothing about totally irrelevant places like Africa.
I've written up some of the other advantages of the Mercator projection that you've missed, here:
In short, it's the best and most useful design and nobody other than maaaaaybe some planetary geologist should possibly concern themselves with something as irrelevant as objective reality.
I think you bring a nasty tone to the conversation, and you bring straw men and appeals to emotion with a rehearsed disregard for the practical issues others work with.
In my personal opinion - and I'm not that big of a map expert - the reason Mercator projection is popular is because it makes the United States as well as Europe bigger and more prominent, and shrinks areas its users care less about. It has nothing to do in my opinion with showing where geographic areas are relative to one another, as you state. If that were the actual issue, don't you think distortion of the oceans would be a big issue? After all, that determines where these locations are relative to one another. If you look at any more modern projection (including a view like this - https://i.redd.it/iqoed05vvfux.png ) you will see that the aspect you say the projection is good for (showing where areas are relative to each other) is better-served by those more modern projections. So it can't be the reason you state.
In fact what I parodied isn't a straw man argument at all: it is the fundamental reason (in my opinion) that the Mercator projection was, and is, popular.
You don't know this, but the reason for the "nasty" tone is because until I edited it to be very, very clear in its current form, my draft read to me like I was actually making the argument! (Because people do think that way.) I had to make it 'nasty' because edited even very slightly, it no longer sounds like a parody or satire, it sounds completely earnest. Hope you can understand my perspective on this and why I chose to share it the way I did. With a little imagination, you could see that if I edited it only slightly, it would be taken to be a genuine defense of the Mercator projection for the actual reasons I stated. I wanted to avoid that.
About satire and/or parody: I would try to master the form first, as well as finding out where it's effective. 'Allo 'allo and Candide are in my opinion brilliant examples. In a rational discussion it easily appears a bit like mockery, or "did you stop beating your wife".
As for the comment you replied to: I find it very credible that these things aren't so important to everyday map users. The Mercator projection does have its advantages for some applications. Other projections for other applications. Putting a sphere on a rectangular piece of paper will involve tradeoffs.
The sheer utility of a suitable projection far outweighs any notions of trying to put any particular nation or continent - for most people.
"Nasty tone." "Nasty woman." :)
What does this mean? Literally, that is impossible, so what's it actually preserving and distorting?
It looks like angle is distorted. Is that it?
An example of another existing equal area projection is the Mollweide projection:  which you may have seen before.
Google Maps, and similar tile systems, can’t have the local area undistorted and pointed in the right direction without these properties – and this map fulfills them.
The similar Lee Conformal Tetrahedric projection (http://www.csiss.org/map-projections/Miscellaneous/Lee_Confo...) has undistorted local maps, at the expense of somewhat large area differences for different regions (though perhaps not as bad as Mercator).
(Yeah, you can make a map where straight lines work, but only for a chosen point of origin or antipodes around that point.)
What I said is impossible is to have a map where all routes between pairs of points look sensible. It gets worse if you optimize for other factors, like making maps equal-area, conformal, rectilinear, etc.
There's an easy way to make all routes between pairs of points look sensible at once: plot them on a 3D globe ;)
Nonetheless, there's a fascinating work by Anton Zorich called "Flat Surfaces" (it's a great discussion with lots of pictures))
The geodesics on a flat plane is the straight line -- while the geodesics on a sphere are the great arcs. So there has to be a fair amount of distortion.
I could imagine just drawing a map of the world on the surface of a cube instead of a sphere. That might come out pretty bad.
Sadly, not a single high resolution image of this to be found on the internet :(
However, it's a RECTANGLE, that's huge. that means we can use it on screens and that non-map geeks would be OK with it.
* Blue colour for lands. No comment...
* Most space, and especially the main one: center, is occupied by boring useless oceans.
* Then the remaining of the central space is occupied by the largest countries: very little information there.
* The most interesting parts, i.e. where there are plenty of small countries with fancy borders (hence mostly Europe and Africa, followed by Near-East and South America) are rejected to the side.
* To add insult to injury, those parts are the most slanted and twisted.
* Finally, there are no axes clearly remarkable, no North, no South clearly identifiable, which should be the basis of describing a planetary globe. The deformations and transformations discard or at least hide every easy bit of information, no orientation is immediately possible.
This is a silly argument. Maybe I find your region "boring" and "useless".
- A Fijian.
You want to show the globe accurately, you show a globe.
You want a better projection - turn Mercator on its side.
Most of the world is, in fact, covered by ocean. This map cleverly is centered on Japan, the country that awarded the design. It appears to be fairly well proportioned and to not weirdly distort land masses that are typically wildly distorted, such as Greenland and Antarctica.
That doesn't mean the ocean has to be given prominence on a map, the same way documentaries are not dominated by silent wide shots "because most of the time nothing interesting is happening".
It's of note that there are some ways in which a flat map can never accurately represent a spherical geometry; for example, not even any small patch of a globe can be represented on a flat map with all distances kept faithful.
ETA: I shouldn't be so quickly dismissive, perhaps; it's also noted that this "AuthaGraph" map has certain tiling properties I'll have to think about further.
This is amazing.
Which makes this very awesome.
Rotating north-wise for close-up views would work of course, but close-up you could just use a "proper" UTM projection instead. For the global view this map feels gimmicky/artsy and not useful for everyday usage.
Disclaimer: I like this work very much and I am super happy a map won this award! I just feel that it has very little use outside of design or art.
The simplest solution is to just do what Google earth did: use a globe.
I'm not sure about the why. Maybe because it puts the target countries more towards the center of the map rather than the periphery?
To get the rectangular final shape one of the 4 triangular-surfaces is split into two and rotated to the neighboring sides. (Much like that one triangle south of Australia on a Dymaxion map)
Tetrahedric class projections:
- Lee Tetrahedric projection
- Snyder's Tetrahedron (Conformal)
- Snyder's Tetrahedron (Equal-Area)
- including a primer on Tetrahedral Pseudoglobes by Carlos A. Furuti
-- on prognos.com (currently unreachable) http://www.progonos.com/furuti/MapProj/Normal/ProjPoly/Foldo...
Also, I regret nothing!