Map Projection Selection Tool

Caitlin Dempsey


The Map Projection Selection Tool was developed to help cartographers pick the best map projection for making maps in a GIS software program.  Selecting an appropriate map projection is one of the first important decisions when working and mapping out GIS data.  Since two dimensional maps require a compromise, selecting which parameters are necessary to preserve (size, shape, or direction) is important.  The Map Projection Select Tool provides suggestions for picking a projection that preserves the spatial property selected and is accurate for the geographic area of interest.

Users set up the geographic extent and distortion property (equal-area, conformal, equidistant, or compromise).  A list of suggested appropriate map projections is then provided to the user.

The suggestions and additional projection parameters are pulled from “A Guide to Selecting Map Projection” book chapter, written by the Cartography and Geovisualization Group at Oregon State University.   Next to each projection listing is a link to the  PROJ.4 library code for use in GIS and cartography software programs.

The application was developed by Bojan Šavrič, a PhD student in geography at Oregon State University, and is run using Leaflet (an open-source JavaScript library for web mapping) with map tiles from Esri.

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About the author
Caitlin Dempsey
Caitlin Dempsey is the editor of Geography Realm and holds a master's degree in Geography from UCLA as well as a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from SJSU.