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# THE SINUSOIDAL PROJECTION

I. Cylindrical Projections

## - At higher latitudes, there is strong shape distortion.

- The area is not preserved, it is greatly exaggerated.
- The poles are stretched to lines, or cannot even be included (e.g. Mercators projection)

## - Attempts another trade-off of shape versus area.

- Defined by:
a. Straight horizontal parallels, not necessarily equidistant
b. Arbitrary curves for meridians, equidistant along every parallel
c. Horizontal parallels that visually preserve latitude relationship
- Same property inherited from cylindrical maps
- Thus easing correlation of phenomena which mostly depend on distance from Equator,
e.g., daylight periods, climate, winds and greenhouse warming
d. Constant scale at any point of a parallel eases measurements in its direction
- Same property inherited from cylindrical maps

## - Their parallels and meridians do not always cross at right angles.

- Conformality is denied (the scale and angles are not preserved).
- In fact, most suffer from strong shape distortion at polar regions.

## - This kind of projection is designed for equivalence.

- Equivalence = equal area

## - SINUSOIDAL PROJECTION: A classic type of a pseudocylindrical projection.

III. Sinusoidal Projection

## - Has also been referred to as the:

a. Sanson-Flamsteed projection
b. Mercator Equal-Area projection.
c. Mercator-Sanson projection

ORIGIN
- Developed in the 16th century.
- Among the first to show the usage of the projection was by Jean Cossin of Deipem who used it for
a world map of 1570. In addition, it was used by Jodocus Hondius for maps of South America and
Africa in some of his editions of Mercator's atlases of 1606-1609.
- Nicolas Sanson (1600-67) of France used it in about 1650 for maps of continents, while John
Flamsteed (1646-1719) of England later used it for star maps.
- Despite the name Sanson-Flamsteed this projection was studied by Gerardus Mercator.
- Often called as Sanson-Flamsteed projection after later users.

## - A pseudocylindrical, equal area projection with equally spaced parallels.

- The central meridian is a straight line but all other meridians form sinusoidal curves hence, the
name Sinusoidal projection.

## - The parallels of latitude are equally spaced straight parallel lines

The sinusoidal projection with Tissots indicatrix of deformation.

## - The continents distant from the prime meridian are sheared.

- Sheared = strong shape distortion; Hence giving them a very distorted appearance in this projection.

- There is no distortion along the Equator and central meridian, but distortion becomes pronounced
near the outer meridians, especially in the polar regions.

- The Equator is marked off from the central meridian equidistantly for meridians at the same scale as the
latitude markings on the central meridian, so the Equator for a complete world map is twice as long as the
central meridian. The other parallels of latitude are also marked off for meridians in proportion to the true
distances from the central meridian. The meridians connect these markings from pole to pole. Since the
spacings on the parallels are proportional to the cosine of the latitude, and since the parallels are equally
spaced, the meridians form curves which may be called cosine, sine, or sinusoidal curves.

## - Areas are preserved or are shown correctly.

How?

The width of a degree of longitude is proportional to the cosine of the latitude. Hence, if we space
the parallels of latitude uniformly on the map, and make the scale of longitude always proportional
to the cosine of the latitude, areas will be correct.
- The interrupted sinusoidal projection was introduced in 1927.
- The interruption was introduced to minimize the shearing that the polar regions experiences at extreme
longitudes.
- The interruption is located at the meridians (interrupting the map along meridians preserves its better
features with lesser shearing).
- Increasing the number of lobes further reduces shape distortion as each lobe is centered around its own
different meridian.
- Moreover, a lobed map could, if printed on a sheet of flexible material, cut and joined at the borders, make
up a fairly good globe.

## Interrupted sinusoidal map, each hemisphere split in nine lobes

Interrupted sinusoidal map with asymmetrical lobe boundaries emphasizing oceans over land.

Interrupted sinusoidal map with asymmetrical lobe boundaries emphasizing lands over oceans, after a Swedish atlas and Deetz

- Parameters:

IV. Summary

## - Linear graticules: All lines of latitude and the central meridian.

- Properties:
Shape: No distortion along the central meridian and the equator. Smaller regions using the
interrupted form exhibit less distortion than the uninterrupted sinusoidal projection of the
world.
Area: Areas are represented accurately.
Direction: Local angles are correct along the central meridian and the equator but distorted
elsewhere.
Distance: The scale along all parallels and the central meridian of the projection is accurate.

- Limitations: Distortion is reduced when used for a single land mass rather than the entire globe. This
is especially true for regions near the equator.

## - Uses and applications:

1. Used for world maps illustrating area characteristics, especially if interrupted.
2. Used for continental maps of South America, Africa, and occasionally other land masses, where
each has its own central meridian.
SOURCES

https://mcmcweb.er.usgs.gov/DSS/ImgHTML/Sinusoidal.html
http://webhelp.esri.com/arcgisdesktop/9.3/index.cfm?TopicName=Sinusoidal
http://www.progonos.com/furuti/MapProj/Dither/ProjPCyl/projPCyl.html
http://www.progonos.com/furuti/MapProj/Normal/ProjInt/projInt.html