Happy birthday Mercator!— Oops

General discussion of map projections.

Happy birthday Mercator!— Oops

Postby daan » Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:14 pm

Today is Gerhard Mercator’s 500th birthday. Mark Monmonier kindly notified me of this German commemorative:
Mercator stamp.jpg
German Mercator stamp
Mercator stamp.jpg (205.03 KiB) Viewed 1348 times

He sent it with question, “What’s wrong with this stamp?”

So. Have at it. What’s wrong with the stamp?

— daan
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Re: Happy birthday Mercator!— Oops

Postby ndzinn » Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:31 pm

Well, perhaps it's because the stamp suggests that the Mercator projection can be constructed perspectively. It can't ... but that's inside cartography. OK for a stamp, I think. -Noel
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Re: Happy birthday Mercator!— Oops

Postby daan » Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:04 pm

Bingo! The portrayed projection isn’t a Mercator. It’s a cylindrical perspective. Indeed, if the image I have has correct aspect ratio, then the projection is a “central cylindric” with a vertical stretch of 1.09, though there is some asymmetry north versus south. The southern stretch is more like 1.11.

— daan
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