2082: "Mercator Projection"

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2082: "Mercator Projection"

Postby orthogon » Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:21 pm UTC

Image
Title text: The other great lakes are just water on the far side of Canada Island. If you drive north from the Pacific northwest you actually cross directly into Alaska, although a few officials--confused by the Mercator distortion--have put up border signs.

Almost: actually, Canada is a very large island in Lake Winnipeg. It has lots of inland seas and oceans, with other countries as enclaves within it.

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Re: 2082: "Mercator Projection"

Postby sonar1313 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:43 pm UTC

Everyone's got it all wrong. Canada is to the south. It is! North is just water. A whole hell of a lot of it.

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Re: 2082: "Mercator Projection"

Postby SuicideJunkie » Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:35 pm UTC

Fun Fact:
The reason Canada gets all jagged and random at the top edge is because the Mercator projection makes things look so much bigger as you go north; what you're seeing up there is the Planck scale granularity of space-time itself breaking up our coastline.

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Re: 2082: "Mercator Projection"

Postby qvxb » Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:39 pm UTC

Where will the proposed wall between the US and Mexico actually be?

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Re: 2082: "Mercator Projection"

Postby keithl » Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:55 pm UTC

Of course, Alaska is just a county in Montana, magnified by the Mercator projection. The so-called "north slope oil" is extracted from a pile of discarded oil filters behind Fred's Diner and Motorcycle Repair in Skagway, Montana. Fortunately, the Mercator projection increased the volume of oil sufficiently to fuel the United States, enough to last until the Mercator-magnified Bakken oil fields were developed.
Unfortunately, the hydrocarbon molecules of Bakken oil were also Mercator-magnified, making them more volatile. That has led to massive fires and explosions after oil trains derailed on Mercator-distorted tracks.

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Re: 2082: "Mercator Projection"

Postby keithl » Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:27 pm UTC

When you die, if you are bad at geometry and geography, you go to Mercatory.

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Re: 2082: "Mercator Projection"

Postby SuicideJunkie » Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:40 pm UTC

qvxb wrote:Where will the proposed wall between the US and Mexico actually be?

The border down south is smaller than it looks on a map. Two guys from Tijuana accidentally finished that last weekend while dumping bricks out of the back of a pickup truck.
The union is pretty upset and there's no bill to send to Mexico so Trump is covering it up.

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Re: 2082: "Mercator Projection"

Postby sonar1313 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:08 pm UTC

SuicideJunkie wrote:Fun Fact:
The reason Canada gets all jagged and random at the top edge is because the Mercator projection makes things look so much bigger as you go north; what you're seeing up there is the Planck scale granularity of space-time itself breaking up our coastline.

I thought it was because nobody could really tell under all the ice and a bunch of Hudson's Bay Company employees got drunk one day and just drew a bunch of nonsense they didn't think would be taken seriously. Forensic geographers today believe "Baffin Island" is just the Titanic iceberg, knocked off course by the collision.

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Re: 2082: "Mercator Projection"

Postby Soupspoon » Sat Dec 08, 2018 5:28 am UTC

qvxb wrote:Where will the proposed wall between the US and Mexico actually be?

Berlin. They do the best walls!

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Re: 2082: "Mercator Projection"

Postby svenman » Sat Dec 08, 2018 1:22 pm UTC

We Germans also have a lot of experience on how to tear down a wall. Just sayin'.
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Re: 2082: "Mercator Projection"

Postby balthasar_s » Sat Dec 08, 2018 3:41 pm UTC

keithl wrote:When you die, if you are bad at geometry and geography, you go to Mercatory.
The planet closest to the sun? cool! :wink:
I wonder which projection is used for maps there.
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Re: 2082: "Mercator Projection"

Postby DavidSh » Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:43 pm UTC

balthasar_s wrote: The planet closest to the sun? cool! :wink:
I wonder which projection is used for maps there.


NASA used a mix of Mercator for equatorial regions, Lambert Conformal for mid-latitudes, and Polar Stereographic for polar regions. Now I want a complete set of planetary and asteroidal atlases.

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Re: 2082: "Mercator Projection"

Postby sotanaht » Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:11 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:
qvxb wrote:Where will the proposed wall between the US and Mexico actually be?

Berlin. They do the best walls!

That wall didn't even last 30 years, if you want something that will last talk to the Chinese.

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Re: 2082: "Mercator Projection"

Postby Soupspoon » Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:00 pm UTC

sotanaht wrote:
Soupspoon wrote:
qvxb wrote:Where will the proposed wall between the US and Mexico actually be?

Berlin. They do the best walls!

That wall didn't even last 30 years, if you want something that will last talk to the Chinese.

Send in Michael Knight. It won't last much longer.

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Re: 2082: "Mercator Projection"

Postby da Doctah » Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:09 am UTC

sotanaht wrote:
Soupspoon wrote:
qvxb wrote:Where will the proposed wall between the US and Mexico actually be?

Berlin. They do the best walls!

That wall didn't even last 30 years, if you want something that will last talk to the Chinese.


Creepy fact on which to base your next school report: Berlin Wall, 29 years. World Trade Center, 28 years.

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Re: 2082: "Mercator Projection"

Postby WriteBrainedJR » Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:28 am UTC

da Doctah wrote:
sotanaht wrote:
Soupspoon wrote:
qvxb wrote:Where will the proposed wall between the US and Mexico actually be?

Berlin. They do the best walls!

That wall didn't even last 30 years, if you want something that will last talk to the Chinese.


Creepy fact on which to base your next school report: Berlin Wall, 29 years. World Trade Center, 28 years.

How is that creepy?

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Re: 2082: "Mercator Projection"

Postby jewish_scientist » Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:08 pm UTC

I found a Mercator Map that lets you set the poles to where ever you want! Plus, it is much longer so the magnification near the poles becomes even more apparent. It has a bunch of different layer options and some really nice preset points. My favorite combination is Google Satellite and 'African Market'. It is really weird seeing continent and humans in the same map.
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Re: 2082: "Mercator Projection"

Postby Pfhorrest » Sun Dec 09, 2018 6:38 pm UTC

That is awesome and it reminds me of an old New Yorker magazine cover about how New Yorkers see the world, with an extremely detailed New York map in the foreground, like New Jersey in no detail behind it, the rest of the US in sparse detail behind that, and a tiny Japan on the distant horizon. I’ve often wondered what a map like that centered on my locale would look like... and now I can find out!
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Re: 2082: "Mercator Projection"

Postby da Doctah » Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:55 pm UTC

WriteBrainedJR wrote:
da Doctah wrote:Creepy fact on which to base your next school report: Berlin Wall, 29 years. World Trade Center, 28 years.

How is that creepy?

Coupla things for next year's Beloit Mindset List: The WTC has always been a memorial, and incumbent political parties have never nominated the sitting vice president as their candidate (my entire lifetime up until 2000, every election saw either the sitting prez or sitting veep at the head of the ticket; the last time it *hadn't* happened that way was 1952).

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Re: 2082: "Mercator Projection"

Postby FOARP » Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:56 am UTC

Is it just me or is "everyone's been brain-washed by Mercator" thing really just the assumption that other people don't know about map projections? I was taught about map projections in primary school, and hasn't everyone looked at a globe at least once?

Worse is the idea that any other map projection is really all that much "better" than Mercator - each has its benefits and drawbacks.

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Re: 2082: "Mercator Projection"

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Dec 10, 2018 1:39 pm UTC

I can't remember when I first learnt "angles, areas, distances - pick no more than two of these to be consistent" for planar plans of spherical surfaces.

(I'm a big fan of gnomonic projections, to a limit. But you also can't beat a good rhumb line.)

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Re: 2082: "Mercator Projection"

Postby doogly » Mon Dec 10, 2018 1:42 pm UTC

FOARP wrote:Is it just me or is "everyone's been brain-washed by Mercator" thing really just the assumption that other people don't know about map projections? I was taught about map projections in primary school, and hasn't everyone looked at a globe at least once?

Worse is the idea that any other map projection is really all that much "better" than Mercator - each has its benefits and drawbacks.

Right, that's the idea. There is a half-informed section of the populace (which may include more than a few xkcd readers, so a good population to poke at!) that participates in an anti-Mercator sentiment to such a degree that the actual use cases for Mercator are forgotten. It is understood just to be "the bad projection." So, the comic makes fun of them.
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Re: 2082: "Mercator Projection"

Postby ijuin » Mon Dec 10, 2018 3:09 pm UTC

Yes, the Mercator projection is useful because any conpass heading is a straight line, which can be more valuable than having distances to scale for navigation. The distortion of the polar regions is less important since the poles are usually icelocked, and we use polar projections for navigating near them anyway.

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Re: 2082: "Mercator Projection"

Postby Locoluis » Mon Dec 10, 2018 3:52 pm UTC

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Re: 2082: "Mercator Projection"

Postby Heimhenge » Mon Dec 10, 2018 4:38 pm UTC

FOARP wrote:Is it just me or is "everyone's been brain-washed by Mercator" thing really just the assumption that other people don't know about map projections? I was taught about map projections in primary school, and hasn't everyone looked at a globe at least once? ...


When I was growing up we had this Mercator world map on the wall of our family room. Didn't realize the true size of Greenland till I saw a globe at school. Asked the teacher why Greenland was so small. She tried to explain why but I was too young to understand projections. Maybe 3rd grade.

Some time later I was looking at a magazine and saw how flights from Chicago to London took a route that "curved north" and damn near passed over Greenland. I asked my dad about that, and he said something about it being safer to stay near land than fly over open ocean. Always wondered if he was just BSing me or really didn't understand himself.

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Re: 2082: "Mercator Projection"

Postby Unclevertitle » Mon Dec 10, 2018 4:49 pm UTC

Heimhenge wrote:Some time later I was looking at a magazine and saw how flights from Chicago to London took a route that "curved north" and damn near passed over Greenland. I asked my dad about that, and he said something about it being safer to stay near land than fly over open ocean. Always wondered if he was just BSing me or really didn't understand himself.


It's a plausible reason at least. It would be preferable to crash land on land than out in the middle of open ocean. Rescue is much faster and easier the closer you are to civilization after all.

Though this source says it's usually because of wind conditions.
https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/c ... e/2449729/

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Re: 2082: "Mercator Projection"

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:53 pm UTC

Unclevertitle wrote:It's a plausible reason at least. It would be preferable to crash land on land than out in the middle of open ocean. Rescue is much faster and easier the closer you are to civilization after all.

One could argue that the Greenland ice-cap is only a slight improvement over open ocean. Especially if you're only there because a crucial radar altimeter is more tuned to see through ice than otherwise and you had something of a CFIT landing.


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