Computer-assisted map projection research

Bulletin 1629



Computers have opened up areas of map projection research which were previously too complicated to utilize, for example, using a least-squares fit to a very large number of points. One application has been in the efficient transfer of data between maps on different projections. While the transfer of moderate amounts of data is satisfactorily accomplished using the analytical map projection formulas, polynomials are more efficient for massive transfers. Suitable coefficients for the polynomials may be determined more easily for general cases using least squares instead of Taylor series. A second area of research is in the determination of a map projection fitting an unlabeled map, so that accurate data transfer can take place. The computer can test one projection after another, and include iteration where required. A third area is in the use of least squares to fit a map projection with optimum parameters to the region being mapped, so that distortion is minimized. This can be accomplished for standard conformal, equalarea, or other types of projections. Even less distortion can result if complex transformations of conformal projections are utilized. This bulletin describes several recent applications of these principles, as well as historical usage and background.

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Computer-assisted map projection research
Series title Bulletin
Series number 1629
DOI 10.3133/b1629
Year Published 1985
Language English
Publisher U.S. Government Printing Office
Description Report: x, 157 p.; 4 microfiche sheets
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