When a reference is presented, the maps in this section are not scannings or reproductions but rather approximate reconstructions of the original sources (for instance, the original faunal regions map does not use an equal-area projection) for illustration purposes.
|Faunistic division of the world, modified Maurer projection|
For zoological classification purposes, the world is divided
in faunal regions.
Here (after Oliver L. Austin and Arthur Singer, Birds of the World, Hamlyn Publ. 1968), a map based on Maurer's star projection presents all lands minus Antarctica. Since climate is a great determinant of faunistic features, most regional borders follow latitudes and are, therefore, roughly concentric in polar-aspect maps.
A land arrangement similar to the previous starlike map is employed in the latest version of Buckminster Fuller's icosahedral projection. It was used for presenting fiber cable routes and intercontinental network traffic in Thomas B. Allen's The Future is Calling, National Geographic 200(6), December 2001. The projection choice was appropriate, since connections to Antarctica are negligible and no routing lines had to be broken, even across oceans.
Some particular migration paths relate populations in eastern Asia which may have later populated Polynesia, northern Asia and the Americas. Dental anthropology (Christy G. Turner II, Teeth and Prehistory in Asia, Scientific American 260 (2), February 1989) provides evidence depending on several genetic factors, not culturally acquired and seldom affected by the environment.
Sometimes, serious cartographers resort to humor in order to make ideas convincing. For instance, John P. Snyder, a prolific and influential author of books, papers and projections, also created an equal-area projection with absolutely no applicability other than evidencing that areal preservation alone does not make a good projection, as some supporters of Arno Peters's projection apparently believe.
Snyder's whimsical proposal, devised ca. 1945 and informally presented in 1987, is a pseudocylindrical design with zero horizontal scale at the Equator, and extreme vertical stretching to compensate. Reciprocally, it is flat-polar, with infinite horizontal scale at both poles. The resulting map resembles an hourglass, with shape distortion much stronger than in the unrelated Collignon map when drawn with two flat poles.
Martin Gardner mentions a geographer being given an award (1973) in the form of a framed map shaped as a bowtie (a favorite of his) drafted by Waldo Tobler, another prolific author. Gardner does not disclose the projection, but it could be a variation of Tissot's design for local maps, referred to by Tobler in 1974.
The crash of the Mir space station on the Pacific Ocean attracted a lot of attention. Most media coverage used cylindrical projections to depict the station's last moments following an apparently sinuous curve. Of course, the actual path of a low-orbit object looks much more simple when presented tridimensionally or as an azimuthal orthographic map:Despite popular conceptions and illustrations, many satellites cruise at relatively low orbits, nearly grazing Earth's top atmosphere: a typical average altitude for Mir and the International Space Station is 390 km, while the Space Shuttle routinely performs orbits below 250 km (geostationary satellites ride much higher, at nearly 36000 km). The example is simplified, since orbiting objects neither follow exactly circular trajectories nor keep constant altitude; besides, the planet itself does not lie still but rotates beneath their paths.
The curve separating day/night areas is also roughly a great circle, thus the sinuous graphics in popular desktop programs displaying a “sun clock” on rectangular maps.