Geocart Projections

What is a projection?

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Lambert equal-area cylindric


Equal area


Meridians: Equally spaced straight parallel lines 0.32 as long as the Equator.
Parallels: Unequally spaced straight parallel lines, farthest apart near the Equator, perpendicular to meridians
Poles: Straight lines equal in length to the Equator
Symmetry: About any meridian or the Equator


True along the Equator
Increases with distance from the Equator in the direction of parallels and decreases in the direction of meridians to maintain equal area
Same scale at the parallel of opposite sign


Infinitesimally small circles (indicatrices) of equal size on the globe are ellipses except at the Equator, where they are circles. The areas of all the indicatrices are the same. Thus, there is shape distortion but no area distortion. Shape distortion in polar regions is extreme.

Other features

Simple graticule, perspectively projected in lines perpendicular to the axis onto a cylinder wrapped around the globe tangent to the Equator


Minimal except to describe basic principles in map projection texts
Prototype for Behrmann and other modified cylindrical equal-area projections
Recommended for equal-area mapping of regions predominantly bordering the Equator


Presented by Johann Heinrich Lambert (1728–77) of Alsace in 1772


Normal is described here. Transverse and oblique aspects are rarely used but are recommended for equal area mapping of predominantly north-south regions or regions extending obliquely.

Other names

Cylindrical Equal-Area

Similar projections

If meridians are compressed relative to parallels and if the spacing of parallels is increased in inverse proportion, other cylindrical equal-area projections result, and the standard parallel changes. The extreme case, in which the poles are standard parallels, consists of a single vertical line, infinitely long.
Named examples are as follows:
Gall Orthographic
Trystan Edwards
(See Behrmann Cylindrical Equal-Area projection for the differences.)

Description adapted from J.P. Snyder and P.M. Voxland, An Album of Map Projections, U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1453. United States Government Printing Office: 1989.