Presenter: Tom Patterson
The Equal Earth map projection, published in 2018, is an equal-area pseudocylindrical projection for world maps. It looks similar to the widely-used Robinson projection, but unlike the Robinson projection, retains the relative size of areas.
I will discuss the design and development of the Equal Earth projection by an inter-disciplinary team that included Bojan Savric (Esri) and Bernhard Jenny (Monash University). Our goal: creating a visually-pleasing alternative to the controversial Gall-Peters projection. The Equal Earth projection is now available in most cartographic and GIS software.
To introduce the Equal Earth projection to a general audience, we also released a world political map online free of charge. The map is available in three versions centered on different regions of the world. In addition, international volunteers are now translating the map into 13 languages besides English, including Arabic, Chinese, Russian, and Spanish.
The most recent update to the Equal Earth project is a physical map that focuses entirely on the natural world—terrain, rivers and lakes, vegetation, land cover, and the ocean floor—free of obscuring country boundaries. I will discuss the design considerations that went into building it, with an emphasis on the raster terrain art. The map features stylized shaded relief processed with a new technology—artificial neural networks—obtained from a surprising source. Find out from where.