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New World Map Tries to Fix Distorted Views of Earth

But while the new map excels at addressing distortion, Dr. Kerkovits said it also introduced a new weakness. You can see only half of the planet at once, unlike the Winkel Tripel and Mercator. That undermines the basic premise of flaying out the whole world for inspection on a single page or screen.

To Dr. Gott, this is no different than the 3-D globe itself. But Dr. Kerkovits isn’t quite sure: After all, you can always rotate a globe slightly to see the neighbors of any chosen point. But in the double-sided map, you might have to flip the entire thing.

Ultimately a map’s success depends on which applications it’s used for, and how its popularity grows over time. Dr. Gott, whose paper also presents double-sided projections of Jupiter and other worlds, envisions the new map style as a physical object to turn over in your hands.

You could cut one out of a magazine, or you could store a whole stack of them in a thin sleeve, showing different planets or different data layers. And he hopes you may be tempted to try to print out and make your own using the appendix of his paper.


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