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Mercator projection

Cylindrical conformal map projection / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Mercator projection (/mərˈktər/) is a cylindrical map projection presented by Flemish geographer and cartographer Gerardus Mercator in 1569. It became the standard map projection for navigation because it is unique in representing north as up and south as down everywhere while preserving local directions and shapes. The map is thereby conformal. As a side effect, the Mercator projection inflates the size of objects away from the equator. This inflation is very small near the equator but accelerates with increasing latitude to become infinite at the poles. As a result, landmasses such as Greenland, Antarctica, Canada and Russia appear far larger than they actually are relative to landmasses near the equator, such as Central Africa.

Mercator projection of the world between 85°S and 85°N. Note the size comparison of Greenland and Africa.
The Mercator projection with Tissot's indicatrix of deformation.
Mercator 1569 world map (Nova et Aucta Orbis Terrae Descriptio ad Usum Navigantium Emendate Accommodata) showing latitudes 66°S to 80°N.