How Do Map Projections Distort Earth's Surface?
ES0301  A Spherical Planet

We live on a round, three-dimensional planet. A major challenge of map making is to depict or project Earth’s three-dimensional surface on a flat two-dimensional surface.

  !   Click the image to see the animation. Click and drag the slider back and forth to visualize Earth’s spherical shape.

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center–Scientific Visualization Studio, Smithsonian Institution, National Science Foundation (NSF), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Global Change Research Project (GCRP), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Dimensional Media Associates (DMA), New York Film and Animation Company, Silicon Graphics, Inc. (SGI), Hughes STX Corporation.

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