Insulation And Influences Essay

685 words - 3 pages

1. There are advantages and disadvantages of the Mercator, gnomonic, and polyconic projections. The Mercator projection displays Earth as if a cylinder of paper had been wrapped around the planet and the continents' outlines had been transferred to the paper. The projection shows the entire world bar the extreme polar regions on one map. Nevertheless, the map fails to depict areas near the poles as their true size. Their images are distorted. This explains why Greenland looks twice as large as the continental United States on a Mercator map while in actuality, it is merely one-quarter of the size. Still, Mercator maps show true directions as straight lines. Hence, they are useful for navigators at sea. The gnomonic, or planar, projection is made as if a piece of paper had been placed on a point on Earth's surface, often one of the poles. Though it accurately plots the shortest distance between two points, the gnomonic projection misrepresents landmass shapes away from the center point. However, it is still useful when planning ocean or air voyages and for displaying the polar areas. The polyconic projection is made as if a cone of paper had been wrapped around Earth. Latitude and longitude lines are slightly curved, yet most landmasses retain their true size and shape (at least relative to each other). Polyconic projections effectively display large regions in the middle latitudes, such as the United States. All in all, these three projections are beneficial; however, they all share the disadvantage of being most accurate only at the point where the "imaginary sheet of paper" touches the sphere. Accordingly, the farther away a location is from this point, the more distorted it will be.

2. The function of latitude and longitude is to locate areas on Earth using precise measurements provided by a system of imaginary lines.This grid (referred to as as the graticule) cartographers have devised divided up Earth and gives each point a unique and unchangeable "address." First, Earth is divided into four...

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