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A infographic poster illustrating twelve map projections that transform the earth and our view of the world.
41 backers pledged $1,196 to help bring this project to life.

About

$1,196

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After six projects focused on baseball, I've decided to branch the THIRTY81 Project into other subjects. Though an insufferable baseball fan, my professional career began in the field of cartography and includes staff assignments at the National Geographic Society and the Washington Post. To this day, maps are a fundamental influence on my design thinking.

Click image to see a larger pre-production proof.
Click image to see a larger pre-production proof.

Before we go any further, this poster is not intended to be a comprehensive survey of world map projections. Indeed, there are intentional omissions — one example, the ubiquitous Equirectangular Projection commonly used for GIS global raster data and by NASA for many of their planetary maps. 

This print is intentionally designed to be an entry point — a 'projection calling card', highlighting the various possibilities in which the earth — a three-dimensional spheroid — can be projected onto a flat two-dimensional surface.

I ultimately selected twelve projections I feel provide a solid overview ranging from standard and influential to the lesser known and considered by some to be novelty.

The final design is presented in a minimal fashion, eliminating map graticule (lines of latitude and longitude) and instead focusing on the contrasts and relationships of shape and area. Arrangement for the poster is based upon visual characteristics in favor of a balanced design.

The Print

The final serigraph poster measures 18" x 24" and is printed on French Paper Co. Recycled White 100# cover stock. Ocean/water areas are presented in solid 40%K (grey) with land masses set in reverse. The title, projection names, dates created, and authorship are presented in red ink and typeset in Hoefler Co. Gotham Rounded.

Printing will be handled once again by my talented friends at Vahalla Studios in Kansas City, Missouri.

Only Kickstarter editions of the print will be designated with a Limited Edition LE# and my signature. The final number of Limited Edition prints will be determined at the end of the campaign. Any additional prints will be designated as an unsigned 'open' edition available at a higher price plus shipping via my online shop.

Rewards

This is about as easy as it gets... for a pledge of $25 (US) you will receive one 18" x 24" unframed serigraph print shipped to any address within the United States. Those outside the U.S. will be prompted to add $15 for international shipping.

The expected timeline is to ship all rewards by mid-October via first-class mail with delivery to backers no later then October 31st.

The Projections

Below is a list of the projections in the order they appear on the poster. Descriptions are intentionally brief and simplified. Further reading is highly recommend for those interested in a deeper understanding (see reading list at the bottom). 

Aitoff : A compromise projection that is neither conformal nor equal area. It is useful only for world maps and was largely superseded by the Hammer-Aitoff projection in 1892.
Aitoff : A compromise projection that is neither conformal nor equal area. It is useful only for world maps and was largely superseded by the Hammer-Aitoff projection in 1892.
Mercator : Originally created to display accurate compass bearing for maritime navigation, the projection is now the basis for the Web Mercator projection, commonly used for online mapping programs such as Google Maps.
Mercator : Originally created to display accurate compass bearing for maritime navigation, the projection is now the basis for the Web Mercator projection, commonly used for online mapping programs such as Google Maps.
Equidistant Conic : A common projection for atlas maps of small countries, it was also used by the former Soviet Union for mapping the entire country. It is a conic projection in which all circular parallels are spaced evenly along the meridians.
Equidistant Conic : A common projection for atlas maps of small countries, it was also used by the former Soviet Union for mapping the entire country. It is a conic projection in which all circular parallels are spaced evenly along the meridians.
Mollweide Hemispheres : While useful only as a world map it is generally used for thematic or distribution mapping of the entire globe in its interrupted form.
Mollweide Hemispheres : While useful only as a world map it is generally used for thematic or distribution mapping of the entire globe in its interrupted form.
Azimuthal Equal Area : Preserving area while also maintaining a true sense of direction from the center, it is commonly used for area mapping such as population density and for geologic directional data.
Azimuthal Equal Area : Preserving area while also maintaining a true sense of direction from the center, it is commonly used for area mapping such as population density and for geologic directional data.
Goode Homolosine : An interrupted pseudocylindrical equal-area projection specifically designed to minimize distortion to more accurately display global areal relationships. It is used by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) for data distribution.
Goode Homolosine : An interrupted pseudocylindrical equal-area projection specifically designed to minimize distortion to more accurately display global areal relationships. It is used by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) for data distribution.
Dymaxion: The projection converts the globe into a 20-sided icosahedron then 'unfolded' into a flat two-dimensional map. While distortion is minimized, cardinal direction is difficult to identify without a graticule on the map.
Dymaxion: The projection converts the globe into a 20-sided icosahedron then 'unfolded' into a flat two-dimensional map. While distortion is minimized, cardinal direction is difficult to identify without a graticule on the map.
Bonne : An equal-area projection generally used to map continents or smaller areas. It was widely used during the 19th and early 20th centuries for atlas maps of Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America.
Bonne : An equal-area projection generally used to map continents or smaller areas. It was widely used during the 19th and early 20th centuries for atlas maps of Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America.
Octahedral Butterfly : Produced by cutting the globe in 6 places, each in a cross shape. When 'flattened' it allows mostly uninterrupted display of the continents while also maintaining reasonable fidelity to a globe sphere.
Octahedral Butterfly : Produced by cutting the globe in 6 places, each in a cross shape. When 'flattened' it allows mostly uninterrupted display of the continents while also maintaining reasonable fidelity to a globe sphere.
Winkel Tripel : A compromise projection that averages the coordinates from the equirectangular and Aitoff projections. Since 1998 it has been The National Geographic Society's official projection for general and thematic world maps.
Winkel Tripel : A compromise projection that averages the coordinates from the equirectangular and Aitoff projections. Since 1998 it has been The National Geographic Society's official projection for general and thematic world maps.
Van Der Grinten I : Similar to the Mercator projection except that it portrays the world with a curved graticule. It was the standard world map projection of the National Geographic Society from 1922 to 1988.
Van Der Grinten I : Similar to the Mercator projection except that it portrays the world with a curved graticule. It was the standard world map projection of the National Geographic Society from 1922 to 1988.
Equal Earth: Announced to the world on August 6, 2018, this new equal-area pseudocylindrical projection for world maps is inspired by the widely used Robinson projection.
Equal Earth: Announced to the world on August 6, 2018, this new equal-area pseudocylindrical projection for world maps is inspired by the widely used Robinson projection.

Recommended reading:

"Map Projection" via Wikipedia

"List of Map Projections" at Wikipedia

"Map Projections" at U.S. Geological Survey

"Map Projections – A Working Manual", U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1395, by John P. Snyder. U.S. Government Printing Office, 1987. PDF Here.

"An Album of Map Projections", U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1453, by John P. Snyder (USGS) and Philip M. Voxland (U. Minnesota), 1989. PDF here.

"The Equal Area Map Projection", via The Maproom Blog

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Risks and challenges

This is my seventh Kickstarter project working with he the same basic process — the risks and challenges are minimal. The artwork is complete minus minor tweaks that often reveal themselves during final preparation before printing. I will again be working with my partners at Vahalla Studios to produce the final prints. I will also personally handle all shipping and handling as I have with every project and will post regular updates and the project moves forward.

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