List of map projections

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This list provides an overview of some of the significant or common map projections. Because there is no limit to the number of possible map projections,[1] there is no definitive list that includes all of them.

Table of projections[edit]

Projection Images Type Properties Creator Year Notes
= equidistant cylindrical
= rectangular
= la carte parallélogrammatique
Equirectangular projection SW.jpg Cylindrical Equidistant Marinus of Tyre 0120 c. 120 Simplest geometry; distances along meridians are conserved.

Plate carrée: special case having the equator as the standard parallel.

= Cassini-Soldner
Cassini projection SW.jpg Cylindrical Equidistant César-François Cassini de Thury 1745 Transverse of equidistant projection; distances along central meridian are conserved.
Distances perpendicular to central meridian are preserved.
= Wright
Mercator projection SW.jpg Cylindrical Conformal Gerardus Mercator 1569 Lines of constant bearing (rhumb lines) are straight, aiding navigation. Areas inflate with latitude, becoming so extreme that the map cannot show the poles.
Web Mercator WebMercator.png Cylindrical Compromise Google 2005 Variant of Mercator that ignores Earth's ellipticity for fast calculation, and clips latitudes to ~85.05° for square presentation. De facto standard for Web mapping applications.
= Gauss conformal
= (Ellipsoidal) Transverse Mercator
MercTranEll.png Cylindrical Conformal Carl Friedrich Gauss

Johann Heinrich Louis Krüger

1822 This transverse, ellipsoidal form of the Mercator is finite, unlike the equatorial Mercator. Forms the basis of the Universal Transverse Mercator coordinate system.
Gall stereographic
similar to Braun
Gall Stereographic projection SW centered.jpg Cylindrical Compromise James Gall 1855 Intended to resemble the Mercator while also displaying the poles. Standard parallels at 45°N/S.
Braun is horizontally stretched version with scale correct at equator.
= Miller cylindrical
Miller projection SW.jpg Cylindrical Compromise Osborn Maitland Miller 1942 Intended to resemble the Mercator while also displaying the poles.
Lambert cylindrical equal-area Lambert cylindrical equal-area projection SW.jpg Cylindrical Equal-area Johann Heinrich Lambert 1772 Standard parallel at the equator. Aspect ratio of π (3.14). Base projection of the cylindrical equal-area family.
Behrmann Behrmann projection SW.jpg Cylindrical Equal-area Walter Behrmann 1910 Horizontally compressed version of the Lambert equal-area. Has standard parallels at 30°N/S and an aspect ratio of 2.36.
Hobo–Dyer Hobo–Dyer projection SW.jpg Cylindrical Equal-area Mick Dyer 2002 Horizontally compressed version of the Lambert equal-area. Very similar are Trystan Edwards and Smyth equal surface (= Craster rectangular) projections with standard parallels at around 37°N/S. Aspect ratio of ~2.0.
= Gall orthographic
= Peters
Gall–Peters projection SW.jpg Cylindrical Equal-area James Gall

(Arno Peters)

1855 Horizontally compressed version of the Lambert equal-area. Standard parallels at 45°N/S. Aspect ratio of ~1.6. Similar is Balthasart projection with standard parallels at 50°N/S.
Central cylindrical Central cylindric projection square.JPG Cylindrical Perspective (unknown) 1850 c. 1850 Practically unused in cartography because of severe polar distortion, but popular in panoramic photography, especially for architectural scenes.
= Sanson-Flamsteed
= Mercator equal-area
Sinusoidal projection SW.jpg Pseudocylindrical Equal-area, Equidistant (Several; first is unknown) 1600 c. 1600 Meridians are sinusoids; parallels are equally spaced. Aspect ratio of 2:1. Distances along parallels are conserved.
= elliptical
= Babinet
= homolographic
Mollweide projection SW.jpg Pseudocylindrical Equal-area Karl Brandan Mollweide 1805 Meridians are ellipses.
Eckert II Eckert II projection SW.JPG Pseudocylindrical Equal-area Max Eckert-Greifendorff 1906
Eckert IV Ecker IV projection SW.jpg Pseudocylindrical Equal-area Max Eckert-Greifendorff 1906 Parallels are unequal in spacing and scale; outer meridians are semicircles; other meridians are semiellipses.
Eckert VI Ecker VI projection SW.jpg Pseudocylindrical Equal-area Max Eckert-Greifendorff 1906 Parallels are unequal in spacing and scale; meridians are half-period sinusoids.
Ortelius oval Ortelius oval projection SW.JPG Pseudocylindrical Compromise Battista Agnese 1540

Meridians are circular.[2]

Goode homolosine Goode homolosine projection SW.jpg Pseudocylindrical Equal-area John Paul Goode 1923 Hybrid of Sinusoidal and Mollweide projections.
Usually used in interrupted form.
Kavrayskiy VII Kavraiskiy VII projection SW.jpg Pseudocylindrical Compromise Vladimir V. Kavrayskiy 1939 Evenly spaced parallels. Equivalent to Wagner VI horizontally compressed by a factor of .
Robinson Robinson projection SW.jpg Pseudocylindrical Compromise Arthur H. Robinson 1963 Computed by interpolation of tabulated values. Used by Rand McNally since inception and used by NGS 1988–98.
Natural Earth Natural Earth projection SW.JPG Pseudocylindrical Compromise Tom Patterson 2011 Computed by interpolation of tabulated values.
Tobler hyperelliptical Tobler hyperelliptical projection SW.jpg Pseudocylindrical Equal-area Waldo R. Tobler 1973 A family of map projections that includes as special cases Mollweide projection, Collignon projection, and the various cylindrical equal-area projections.
Wagner VI Wagner VI projection SW.jpg Pseudocylindrical Compromise K.H. Wagner 1932 Equivalent to Kavrayskiy VII vertically compressed by a factor of .
Collignon Collignon projection SW.jpg Pseudocylindrical Equal-area Édouard Collignon 1865 c. 1865 Depending on configuration, the projection also may map the sphere to a single diamond or a pair of squares.
HEALPix HEALPix projection SW.svg Pseudocylindrical Equal-area Krzysztof M. Górski 1997 Hybrid of Collignon + Lambert cylindrical equal-area
Boggs eumorphic Boggs eumorphic projection SW.JPG Pseudocylindrical Equal-area Samuel Whittemore Boggs 1929 The equal-area projection that results from average of sinusoidal and Mollweide y-coordinates and thereby constraining the x coordinate.
Craster parabolic
=Putniņš P4
Pseudocylindrical Equal-area John Craster 1929 Meridians are parabolas. Standard parallels at 36°46′N/S; parallels are unequal in spacing and scale; 2:1 Aspect.
Flat-polar quartic
= McBryde-Thomas #4
Pseudocylindrical Equal-area Felix W. McBryde, Paul Thomas 1949 Standard parallels at 33°45′N/S; parallels are unequal in spacing and scale; meridians are fourth-order curves. Distortion-free only where the standard parallels intersect the central meridian.
Quartic authalic Pseudocylindrical Equal-area Karl Siemon

Oscar Adams



Parallels are unequal in spacing and scale. No distortion along the equator. Meridians are fourth-order curves.
The Times Pseudocylindrical Compromise John Muir 1965 Standard parallels 45°N/S. Parallels based on Gall stereographic, but with curved meridians. Developed for Bartholomew Ltd., The Times Atlas.
Loximuthal Loximuthal projection SW.JPG Pseudocylindrical Compromise Karl Siemon, Waldo Tobler 1935, 1966 From the designated centre, lines of constant bearing (rhumb lines/loxodromes) are straight and have the correct length. Generally asymmetric about the equator.
Aitoff Aitoff projection SW.jpg Pseudoazimuthal Compromise David A. Aitoff 1889 Stretching of modified equatorial azimuthal equidistant map. Boundary is 2:1 ellipse. Largely superseded by Hammer.
= Hammer-Aitoff
variations: Briesemeister; Nordic
Hammer projection SW.jpg Pseudoazimuthal Equal-area Ernst Hammer 1892 Modified from azimuthal equal-area equatorial map. Boundary is 2:1 ellipse. Variants are oblique versions, centred on 45°N.
Winkel tripel Winkel triple projection SW.jpg Pseudoazimuthal Compromise Oswald Winkel 1921 Arithmetic mean of the equirectangular projection and the Aitoff projection. Standard world projection for the NGS 1998–present.
Van der Grinten Van der Grinten projection SW.jpg Other Compromise Alphons J. van der Grinten 1904 Boundary is a circle. All parallels and meridians are circular arcs. Usually clipped near 80°N/S. Standard world projection of the NGS 1922–88.
Equidistant conic projection
= simple conic
Equidistant conic projection SW.JPG Conic Equidistant Based on Ptolemy's 1st Projection 0100 c. 100 Distances along meridians are conserved, as is distance along one or two standard parallels[3]
Lambert conformal conic Lambert conformal conic projection SW.jpg Conic Conformal Johann Heinrich Lambert 1772 Used in aviation charts.
Albers conic Albers projection SW.jpg Conic Equal-area Heinrich C. Albers 1805 Two standard parallels with low distortion between them.
Werner Werner projection SW.jpg Pseudoconical Equal-area, Equidistant Johannes Stabius 1500 c. 1500 Distances from the North Pole are correct as are the curved distances along parallels and distances along central meridian.
Bonne Bonne projection SW.jpg Pseudoconical, cordiform Equal-area Bernardus Sylvanus 1511 Parallels are equally spaced circular arcs and standard lines. Appearance depends on reference parallel. General case of both Werner and sinusoidal
Bottomley Bottomley projection SW.JPG Pseudoconical Equal-area Henry Bottomley 2003 Alternative to the Bonne projection with simpler overall shape

Parallels are elliptical arcs
Appearance depends on reference parallel.

American polyconic American Polyconic projection.jpg Pseudoconical Compromise Ferdinand Rudolph Hassler 1820 c. 1820 Distances along the parallels are preserved as are distances along the central meridian.
Latitudinally equal-differential polyconic Pseudoconical Compromise China State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping 1963 Polyconic: parallels are non-concentric arcs of circles.
Azimuthal equidistant
zenithal equidistant
Azimuthal equidistant projection SW.jpg Azimuthal Equidistant Abū Rayḥān al-Bīrūnī 1000 c. 1000 Used by the USGS in the National Atlas of the United States of America.

Distances from centre are conserved.
Used as the emblem of the United Nations, extending to 60° S.

Gnomonic Gnomonic projection SW.jpg Azimuthal Gnomonic Thales (possibly) c. 580 BC All great circles map to straight lines. Extreme distortion far from the center. Shows less than one hemisphere.
Lambert azimuthal equal-area Lambert azimuthal equal-area projection SW.jpg Azimuthal Equal-area Johann Heinrich Lambert 1772 The straight-line distance between the central point on the map to any other point is the same as the straight-line 3D distance through the globe between the two points.
Stereographic Stereographic projection SW.JPG Azimuthal Conformal Hipparchos (deployed) c. 200 BC Map is infinite in extent with outer hemisphere inflating severely, so it is often used as two hemispheres. Maps all small circles to circles, which is useful for planetary mapping to preserve the shapes of craters.
Orthographic Orthographic projection SW.jpg Azimuthal Perspective Hipparchos (deployed) c. 200 BC View from an infinite distance.
Vertical perspective Vertical perspective SW.jpg Azimuthal Perspective Matthias Seutter (deployed) 1740 View from a finite distance. Can only display less than a hemisphere.
Two-point equidistant Two-point equidistant projection SW.jpg Azimuthal Equidistant Hans Maurer 1919 Two "control points" can be almost arbitrarily chosen. The two straight-line distances from any point on the map to the two control points are correct.
Peirce quincuncial Peirce quincuncial projection SW.jpg Other Conformal Charles Sanders Peirce 1879
Guyou hemisphere-in-a-square projection Guyou doubly periodic projection SW.JPG Other Conformal Émile Guyou 1887
Adams hemisphere-in-a-square projection Adams hemisphere in a square.JPG Other Conformal Oscar Sherman Adams 1925
Lee conformal world on a tetrahedron Lee Conformal Projection SW.jpg Polyhedral Conformal L. P. Lee 1965 Projects the globe onto a regular tetrahedron. Tessellates.
Authagraph projection Link to file Polyhedral Compromise Hajime Narukawa 1999 Approximately equal-area. Tessellates.
Octant projection Leonardo da Vinci’s Mappamundi.jpg Polyhedral Compromise Leonardo da Vinci 1514 Projects the globe onto eight octants (Reuleaux triangles) with no meridians and no parallels.
Cahill's Butterfly Map Cahill Butterfly Map.jpg Polyhedral Compromise Bernard Joseph Stanislaus Cahill 1909 Projects the globe onto an octahedron with symmetrical components and contiguous landmasses that may be displayed in various arrangements
Cahill–Keyes projection World Map, Political, 2012, Cahill-Keyes Projection.jpg Polyhedral Compromise Gene Keyes 1975 Projects the globe onto a truncated octahedron with symmetrical components and contiguous land masses
Waterman butterfly projection Waterman projection (Pacific centered).jpg Polyhedral Compromise Steve Waterman 1996 Projects the globe onto a truncated octahedron with symmetrical components and contiguous land masses that may be displayed in various arrangements
Quadrilateralized spherical cube Polyhedral Equal-area F. Kenneth Chan, E. M. O’Neill 1973
Dymaxion map Fuller projection.svg Polyhedral Compromise Buckminster Fuller 1943 Also known as a Fuller Projection.
Myriahedral projections Polyhedral Compromise Jarke J. van Wijk 2008 Projects the globe onto a myriahedron: a polyhedron with a very large number of faces.[4][5]
Craig retroazimuthal
= Mecca
Craig projection SW.jpg Retroazimuthal Compromise James Ireland Craig 1909
Hammer retroazimuthal, front hemisphere Hammer retroazimuthal projection front SW.JPG Retroazimuthal Ernst Hammer 1910
Hammer retroazimuthal, back hemisphere Hammer retroazimuthal projection back SW.JPG Retroazimuthal Ernst Hammer 1910
Littrow Littrow projection SW.JPG Retroazimuthal Conformal Joseph Johann Littrow 1833
Armadillo Armadillo projection SW.JPG Other Compromise Erwin Raisz 1943
GS50 GS-50 projection with lines of constant scale.svg Other Conformal John P. Snyder 1982 Designed specifically to minimize distortion when used to display all 50 U.S. states.
Nicolosi globular 1883 religions map.jpg Polyconic[6] Abū Rayḥān al-Bīrūnī; reinvented by Giovanni Battista Nicolosi, 1660.[1]:14 1000 c. 1000
Roussilhe oblique stereographic Henri Roussilhe 1922


The designation "deployed" means popularisers/users rather than necessarily creators. The type of projection and the properties preserved by the projection use the following categories:

Type of projection[edit]

In standard presentation, these map regularly-spaced meridians to equally spaced vertical lines, and parallels to horizontal lines.
In standard presentation, these map the central meridian and parallels as straight lines. Other meridians are curves (or possibly straight from pole to equator), regularly spaced along parallels.
In standard presentation, pseudoazimuthal projections map the equator and central meridian to perpendicular, intersecting straight lines. They map parallels to complex curves bowing away from the equator, and meridians to complex curves bowing in toward the central meridian. Listed here after pseudocylindrical as generally similar to them in shape and purpose.
In standard presentation, conic (or conical) projections map meridians as straight lines, and parallels as arcs of circles.
In standard presentation, pseudoconical projections represent the central meridian as a straight line, other meridians as complex curves, and parallels as circular arcs.
In standard presentation, azimuthal projections map meridians as straight lines and parallels as complete, concentric circles. They are radially symmetrical. In any presentation (or aspect), they preserve directions from the center point. This means great circles through the central point are represented by straight lines on the map.
Typically calculated from formula, and not based on a particular projection
Polyhedral maps
Polyhedral maps can be folded up into a polyhedral approximation to the sphere, using particular projection to map each face with low distortion.
Direction to a fixed location B (by the shortest route) corresponds to the direction on the map from A to B.


Preserves angles locally, implying that local shapes are not distorted.
Equal area
Areas are conserved.
Neither conformal nor equal-area, but a balance intended to reduce overall distortion.
All distances from one (or two) points are correct. Other equidistant properties are mentioned in the notes.
All great circles are straight lines.


  1. ^ a b Snyder, John P. (1993). Flattening the earth: two thousand years of map projections. University of Chicago Press. p. 1. ISBN 0-226-76746-9. 
  2. ^ Donald Fenna. "Cartographic Science: A Compendium of Map Projections, with Derivations". Section "The Ortelius Oval" p. 249.
  3. ^ Carlos A. Furuti. Conic Projections: Equidistant Conic Projections
  4. ^ Jarke J. van Wijk. "Unfolding the Earth: Myriahedral Projections". [1]
  5. ^ Carlos A. Furuti. "Interrupted Maps: Myriahedral Maps". [2]
  6. ^ "Nicolosi Globular projection"

Further reading[edit]