A

**world map** is a

mapA map is a visual representation of an area—a symbolic depiction highlighting relationships between elements of that space such as objects, regions, and themes....

of the surface of the

EarthEarth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

, which may be made using any of a number of different

map projectionA map projection is any method of representing the surface of a sphere or other three-dimensional body on a plane. Map projections are necessary for creating maps. All map projections distort the surface in some fashion...

s. A map projection is any method of representing the

surfaceIn mathematics, specifically in topology, a surface is a two-dimensional topological manifold. The most familiar examples are those that arise as the boundaries of solid objects in ordinary three-dimensional Euclidean space R3 — for example, the surface of a ball...

of a sphere or other three-dimensional body on a

planeIn mathematics, a plane is a flat, two-dimensional surface. A plane is the two dimensional analogue of a point , a line and a space...

.

Maps of the world are often either 'political' or 'physical'. The most important purpose of the

*political* map is to show territorial borders; the purpose of the

*physical* map is to show features of

geographyGeography is the science that studies the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of Earth. A literal translation would be "to describe or write about the Earth". The first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes...

such as mountains,

soil typeIn terms of soil texture, soil type usually refers to the different sizes of mineral particles in a particular sample. Soil is made up in part of finely ground rock particles, grouped according to size as sand, silt and clay...

or

land useLand use is the human use of land. Land use involves the management and modification of natural environment or wilderness into built environment such as fields, pastures, and settlements. It has also been defined as "the arrangements, activities and inputs people undertake in a certain land cover...

. Geological maps show not only the physical surface, but characteristics of the underlying rock,

faultIn geology, a fault is a planar fracture or discontinuity in a volume of rock, across which there has been significant displacement along the fractures as a result of earth movement. Large faults within the Earth's crust result from the action of tectonic forces...

lines, and subsurface structures.

## Projections

Maps that depict the surface of the Earth use a

projectionA map projection is any method of representing the surface of a sphere or other three-dimensional body on a plane. Map projections are necessary for creating maps. All map projections distort the surface in some fashion...

, a way of translating the three-dimensional real surface of the

geoidThe geoid is that equipotential surface which would coincide exactly with the mean ocean surface of the Earth, if the oceans were in equilibrium, at rest , and extended through the continents . According to C.F...

to a two-dimensional picture. Perhaps the best-known world-map projection is the

Mercator ProjectionThe Mercator projection is a cylindrical map projection presented by the Belgian geographer and cartographer Gerardus Mercator, in 1569. It became the standard map projection for nautical purposes because of its ability to represent lines of constant course, known as rhumb lines or loxodromes, as...

, originally designed as a form of

nautical chartA nautical chart is a graphic representation of a maritime area and adjacent coastal regions. Depending on the scale of the chart, it may show depths of water and heights of land , natural features of the seabed, details of the coastline, navigational hazards, locations of natural and man-made aids...

.

Aeroplane pilots use aeronautical charts based on a

Lambert conformal conic projectionA Lambert conformal conic projection is a conic map projection, which is often used for aeronautical charts. In essence, the projection superimposes a cone over the sphere of the Earth, with two reference parallels secant to the globe and intersecting it. This minimizes distortion from projecting...

, in which a cone is laid over the section of the earth to be mapped. The cone intersects the sphere (the earth) at one or two parallels which are chosen as standard lines. This allows the pilots to plot a

great circleA great circle, also known as a Riemannian circle, of a sphere is the intersection of the sphere and a plane which passes through the center point of the sphere, as opposed to a general circle of a sphere where the plane is not required to pass through the center...

(shortest distance) route approximation on a flat, two-dimensional chart.

## See also

- Ancient world maps
Early world maps cover depictions of the world from the Iron Age to the Age of Discovery and the emergence of modern geography during the early modern period.-Babylonian Imago Mundi Early world maps cover depictions of the world from the Iron Age to the Age of Discovery and the emergence of modern...

- Clickable world map
- Continental drift
Continental drift is the movement of the Earth's continents relative to each other. The hypothesis that continents 'drift' was first put forward by Abraham Ortelius in 1596 and was fully developed by Alfred Wegener in 1912...

- Blank maps of the world for historical use
- European Digital Archive on Soil Maps of the World
European Digital Archive on Soil Maps is a digital inventory of the maps holding valuable information pertaining to soil that are highly demanded in various environmental assessment studies focusing on policy issues...

- International Map of the World
The International Map of the World was a project begun in 1913 to create a complete map of the world according to internationally agreed standards...

- List of World Map changes
- Mappa mundi
Mappa mundi is a general term used to describe medieval European maps of the world. These maps range in size and complexity from simple schematic maps an inch or less across to elaborate wall maps, the largest of which was 11 ft. in diameter...

- OneGeology
OneGeology is an international collaborative project in the field of geology supported by 113 countries, UNESCO and major global geoscience bodies. It is an International Year of Planet Earth flagship initiative that aims to enable online access to dynamic digital geological map of the world for...

- Time zone
A time zone is a region on Earth that has a uniform standard time for legal, commercial, and social purposes. In order for the same clock time to always correspond to the same portion of the day as the Earth rotates , different places on the Earth need to have different clock times...

- World Map at Lake Klejtrup
The World Map at Lake Klejtrup is a miniature world map built of stones and grass in Klejtrup Sø near the village of Klejtrup, Viborg Municipality, Denmark....

- Global Map
Global Map is a set of digital maps which accurately cover the whole globe to express the status of global environment. It is developed through the cooperation of National Mapping Organizations in the world...

### Projections

- Albers projection
The Albers equal-area conic projection, or Albers projection , is a conic, equal areamap projection that uses two standard parallels. Although scale and shape are not preserved, distortion is minimal between the standard parallels.The Albers projection is the standard projection for British Columbia...

- Azimuthal conformal projection: see Stereographic projection
The stereographic projection, in geometry, is a particular mapping that projects a sphere onto a plane. The projection is defined on the entire sphere, except at one point — the projection point. Where it is defined, the mapping is smooth and bijective. It is conformal, meaning that it...

- Azimuthal equidistant projection
The azimuthal equidistant projection is a type of map projection.A useful application for this type of projection is a polar projection in which all distances measured from the center of the map along any longitudinal line are accurate; an example of a polar azimuthal equidistant projection can be...

- Behrmann projection
The Behrmann projection is a cylindrical map projection. This is an orthographic projection onto a cylinder secant at the 30° parallels. It is equal-area, but distortion of shape increases with distance from the standard parallels. Scale is true along the standard parallels and constant between two...

- Bonne projection
A Bonne projection is a pseudoconical equal-area map projection, sometimes called a dépôt de la guerre or a Sylvanus projection. Although named after Rigobert Bonne , the projection was in use prior to his birth, in 1511 by Sylvano, Honter in 1561, De l'Isle before 1700 and Coronelli in 1696.The...

- Bottomley projection
- Cahill octahedral Butterfly projection: see Bernard J.S. Cahill
B.J.S. Cahill , cartographer and architect, was the inventor of the octahedral "Butterfly Map" ; an early proponent of the San Francisco Civic Center ; and designer of the Columbarium of San Francisco.His Butterfly World Map, like Buckminster Fuller's later Dymaxion Map of 1943 and 1954, enabled all...

- Craig retroazimuthal projection
The Craig retroazimuthal map projection was created by James Ireland Craig in 1909. It is a cylindrical projection preserving the direction from any place to another, predetermined place while avoiding some of the bizarre distortion of the Hammer retroazimuthal projection...

- Dymaxion projection
The Dymaxion map or Fuller map is a projection of a world map onto the surface of a polyhedron, which can be unfolded and flattened to two dimensions. The projection depicts the earth's continents as "one island," or nearly contiguous land masses. The arrangement heavily interrupts the map in order...

- Equirectangular projection
The equirectangular projection is a very simple map projection attributed to Marinus of Tyre, who Ptolemy claims invented the projection about AD 100...

- Gall–Peters projection
- Gnomonic projection
A gnomonic map projection displays all great circles as straight lines. Thus the shortest route between two locations in reality corresponds to that on the map. This is achieved by projecting, with respect to the center of the Earth , the Earth's surface onto a tangent plane. The least distortion...

- Goode homolosine projection
The Goode homolosine projection is pseudocylindrical, equal-area, composite map projection used for world maps. Normally it is presented with multiple interruptions...

- Hammer projection
- Hobo–Dyer projection
- Lambert azimuthal equal-area projection
The Lambert azimuthal equal-area projection is a particular mapping from a sphere to a disk . It accurately represents area in all regions of the sphere, but it does not accurately represent angles...

- Lambert conformal conic projection
A Lambert conformal conic projection is a conic map projection, which is often used for aeronautical charts. In essence, the projection superimposes a cone over the sphere of the Earth, with two reference parallels secant to the globe and intersecting it. This minimizes distortion from projecting...

- Lambert cylindrical equal-area projection
In cartography, the Lambert cylindrical equal-area projection, or Lambert cylindrical projection, is acylindrical, equal area map projection...

- Littrow projection
The Littrow projection is the only conformal retroazimuthal map projection. A retroazimuthal projection is one in which the direction to a fixed location B corresponds to the direction on the map from A to B.The Littrow projection allows direct measurement of the azimuth from any point on the...

- Mercator projection
The Mercator projection is a cylindrical map projection presented by the Belgian geographer and cartographer Gerardus Mercator, in 1569. It became the standard map projection for nautical purposes because of its ability to represent lines of constant course, known as rhumb lines or loxodromes, as...

- Miller cylindrical projection
thumb|450px|The Miller cylindrical projection is a modified Mercator projection, proposed by Osborn Maitland Miller in 1942. The latitude is scaled by a factor of 4/5, projected according to Mercator, and then the result is multiplied by 5/4 to retain scale along the equator...

- Mollweide projection
The Mollweide projection is a pseudocylindrical map projection generally used for global maps of the world . Also known as the Babinet projection, homalographic projection, homolographic projection, and elliptical projection...

- Peters projection
- Plate carrée projection
- Polyconic projection
Polyconic can refer either to a class of map projections or to a specific projection known less ambiguously as the American Polyconic. Polyconic as a class refers to those projections whose parallels are all non-concentric circular arcs, except for a straight equator, and the centers of these...

- Robinson projection
The Robinson projection is a map projection of a world map, which shows the entire world at once. It was specifically created in an attempt to find a good compromise to the problem of readily showing the whole globe as a flat image....

- Sinusoidal projection
The sinusoidal projection is a pseudocylindrical equal-area map projection, sometimes called the Sanson–Flamsteed or the Mercator equal-area projection. Jean Cossin of Dieppe was one of the first mapmakers to use the sinusoidal, appearing in a world map of 1570...

- Stereographic projection
The stereographic projection, in geometry, is a particular mapping that projects a sphere onto a plane. The projection is defined on the entire sphere, except at one point — the projection point. Where it is defined, the mapping is smooth and bijective. It is conformal, meaning that it...

- Transverse Mercator projection
The transverse Mercator map projection is an adaptation of the standard Mercator projection. The transverse version is widely used in national and international mapping systems around the world, including the UTM...

- Waterman butterfly projection
The Waterman "Butterfly" World Map is a map arrangement created by Steve Waterman. Waterman first published a map in this arrangement in 1996. The arrangement is an unfolding of a globe treated as an octahedron, evoking the butterfly map principle first developed by Bernard J.S. Cahill in 1909...

- Werner projection
The Werner projection is a pseudoconic equal-area map projection sometimes called the Stab-Werner or Stabius-Werner projection. Like other heart-shaped projections, it is also categorized as cordiform...

- Winkel Tripel projection
The Winkel Tripel projection , a modified azimuthal map projection, is one of three projections proposed by Oswald Winkel in 1921...

## External links