The Peters Projection

The Cartographie tribe had an interesting discussion a while back about the Peters projection, which, in its attempt to spread distortion evenly among the continents by distorting at the equator as well as at the poles, is as much political as anything else. The Mercator projection, the alleged Eurocentricity of which the Peters projection is meant to address, is intended to preserve compass directions for navigators; the fact that northern countries appear larger is, I think, clearly a secondary side effect rather than a deliberate expression of European hegemony. Projections have specific uses (think UTM) apart from representation.

More on projections: in addition to the pages linked to in this entry from last year, here’s another course page, this time from Colorado State, that discusses some projections in some detail.