# Mercator projection

﻿
Mercator projection
Cartography. a conformal projection on which any rhumb line is represented as a straight line, used chiefly in navigation, though the scale varies with latitude and areal size and the shapes of large areas are greatly distorted.
Also, Mercator's projection.
[1660-70]

* * *

type of map projection introduced in 1569 by Gerardus Mercator. It is often described as a cylindrical projection, but it must be derived mathematically. The meridians are equally spaced, parallel vertical lines, and the parallels of latitude are parallel, horizontal straight lines, spaced farther and farther apart as their distance from the Equator increases. This projection is widely used for navigation charts (navigation chart), because any straight line on a Mercator-projection map is a line of constant true bearing that enables a navigator to plot a straight-line course. It is less practical for world maps because the scale is distorted; areas farther away from the equator appear disproportionately large. On a Mercator projection, for example, the landmass of Greenland appears to be greater than that of the continent of South America; in actual area, Greenland is smaller than the Arabian Peninsula.

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

### Look at other dictionaries:

• Mercator projection — of the world between 82°S and 82°N. Mercator world …   Wikipedia

• Mercator projection — n. a method of making maps in which the earth s surface is shown with the meridians as parallel straight lines spaced at equal intervals and the parallels of latitude as parallel straight lines intersecting the meridians at right angles but… …   English World dictionary

• Mercator Projection —    The famous Flemish cartographer Gerardus Mercator (1512 1594) was given at birth the name Gerhard, the family name being Kremer (meaning shopkeeper or merchant), but he preferred the Latinized version of his full name. Mercator set up a… …   Dictionary of eponyms

• Mercator projection — n. (also Mercator s projection) a projection of a map of the world on to a cylinder so that all the parallels of latitude have the same length as the equator, first published in 1569 and used esp. for marine charts and certain climatological maps …   Useful english dictionary

• Mercator projection — noun Etymology: Gerardus Mercator Date: circa 1881 a conformal map projection of which the meridians are usually drawn parallel to each other and the parallels of latitude are straight lines whose distance from each other increases with their… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

• Mercator projection — Mer|ca|tor pro|jec|tion [məˌkeıtə prəˈdʒekʃən US mərˌkeıtər ] n also Mercator s projection [singular] the usual way a map of the world is drawn …   Dictionary of contemporary English

• Mercator projection — noun a world map projection made on to a cylinder in such a way that all parallels of latitude have the same length as the equator. Origin from Mercator, Latinized name of the 16th cent. Flemish geographer Gerhard Kremer …   English new terms dictionary

• Mercator projection — also Mercator s projection noun (U) a way of drawing a map of the world so that it can be divided into regular squares, instead of getting thinner at the northern or southern edges …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

• Mercator projection — Merca′tor (or Merca′tor s) projec tion n. geo a conformal map projection on which any rhumb line is represented as a straight line, used chiefly in navigation, though the scale varies with latitude and areal size and the shapes of large areas are …   From formal English to slang

• Mercator projection — n. method of making a map of planet Earth in which areas appear greater the farther they are away from the equator …   English contemporary dictionary