Cues for Interpreting Distortion in Map Projections

Sarah E. Battersby, Fritz C. Kessler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The ability to recognize distortions of, for example, areas, angles, and landmass shapes in global-scale map projections, is an important part of critical map reading and use. This study investigates the cues used by individuals when they assess distortion on global-scale map projections. It was hypothesized that landmass shape would be a dominant cue used by individuals with no formal map projection training and that as projection knowledge increased the cues would become more systematic (e.g., use the graticule). Results indicate a tendency for novices to rely on landmass shape as a cue. Some evidence of a systematic evaluation of projections was also found.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-101
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Geography
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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