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Map Projections

There are many different types of map projections and each has distortions.

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Maps: Bathymetric, Topographic, Geologic & Projections

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Map Types

Name three types of maps and summarize what each type highlights.



What is another name for a topographic map?

What are contour lines? How are they used to make mountains? Valleys?

Name the five rules for topographic maps

On a piece of paper, sketch what is used to show the geographic feature.





How are bathymetric maps similar to topographic maps? Different?

What do higher numbers represent in Bathymetric graphs?



Both bathymetric and topographic maps show elevation. How are geological maps different? How are they similar?

What do the colors on geological maps indicate?

What geographic features are shown on this type of map?

Rocks sometimes overlap beneath the surface of what is shown on the map. What kind of diagram is used to show what is beneath the surface?

Answers here and here


Map Projections

Earth is round but maps are typically flat. Projections make it possible to draw the spherical earth on flat, rectangular paper. As a result, what happens to the shapes--like the continents--when projections are used?

List the two basic methods of making projections

The Mercator projection distorts parts of the globe. Describe the areas affected. Are they larger or smaller?

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Conic projections use cones fitted to the shape of a globe. Where are conic projections the most accurate? The Equator, North or South Poles?

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Gnomic projections are mapped with only one point touching the globe. Where is it the most accurate? Farthest away from the point, at the point, or midway in between?

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The Robinson projection was created using mathematical formulas. Where is it most accurate? Inside 45° of the Equator or outside 45°?


Image Attributions

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  2. [2]^ License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  3. [3]^ License: CC BY-NC 3.0


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