Which Map's the Best Map for Antarctica?
Mercator, polar, azimuthal, and conic—do you get lost just hearing about the different types of map projections? Get back on track with a hands-on look at how each is created and what each displays.
Remote sensing, which not long ago was limited to the classified community, is now a popular tool for researchers in a variety of fields. Learn more about its use to monitor Antarctica's glaciers.
What's better than watching ice melt? Building a computer model to simulate the melting! Ice flow plays an important role in everything from deep ocean circulation patterns to global warming.
Why are there over 100 types of map projections? Because translating a globe onto a flat surface usually requires some compromise—cartographers must distort some features in order to preserve others.
A globe may be the most accurate way to represent the Earth, but you can't slip one into your back pocket. The Mercator projection map is certainly portable, but look what it does to Antarctica!
If you've ever compared a map of the world and a globe, then you've seen how Antarctica can get really distorted. See how a polar projection map solves that problem.
As a miniature model of the Earth, a globe is the most accurate representation of our planet. Yet it's not what most scientists use to do their work. What do they use instead, and why?
Don't toss that empty soda bottle! Grab a knife and test out your cartography skills. You'll never look at a map of the Earth in the same way again.