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Comparison of FOSS4G Supported Equal-Area Projections Using Discrete Distortion Indicatrices

ISRIC—World Soil Information, Droevendaalsesteeg 3, Building 101, 6708 PB Wageningen, The Netherlands
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ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8(8), 351; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi8080351
Received: 30 April 2019 / Revised: 30 July 2019 / Accepted: 7 August 2019 / Published: 9 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Open Science in the Geospatial Domain)
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Abstract

This study compares the performance of five popular equal-area projections supported by Free and Open Source Software for Geo-spatial (FOSS4G)—Sinusoidal, Mollweide, Hammer, Eckert IV and Homolosine. A set of 21,872 discrete distortion vindicatrices were positioned on the ellipsoid surface, centred on the cells of a Snyder icosahedral equal-area grid. These indicatrices were projected on the plane and the resulting angular and distance distortions computed, all using FOSS4G. The Homolosine is the only projection that manages to minimise angular and distance distortions simultaneously. It yields the lowest distortions among this set of projections and clearly outclasses when only land masses are considered. These results also indicate the Sinusoidal and Hammer projections to be largely outdated, imposing too large distortions to be useful. In contrast, the Mollweide and Eckert IV projections present trade-offs between visual expression and accuracy that are worth considering. However, for the purposes of storing and analysing big spatial data with FOSS4G the superior performance of the Homolosine projection makes its choice difficult to avoid. View Full-Text
Keywords: FOSS4G; equal-area projection; Homolosine; EckertIV; Mollweide; Hammer; Sinusoidal; Discrete Global Grid FOSS4G; equal-area projection; Homolosine; EckertIV; Mollweide; Hammer; Sinusoidal; Discrete Global Grid
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Moreira de Sousa, L.; Poggio, L.; Kempen, B. Comparison of FOSS4G Supported Equal-Area Projections Using Discrete Distortion Indicatrices. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8, 351.

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