Every Map Projection Has Some Degree of Distortion Because

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When you take a Geography test, you might ever find some hard questions that you cannot answer correctly. Sometimes, the questions are also available in some quizzes that help the students to easily answer the test at school.

Today, there is a quiz that is always up in the samples of quizzes. Reportedly, many people cannot answer the question because it’s too hard. The quiz is about Geography, that indicates the map projection. So, what is the question and its answer? If you’re also wondering about the question and answer, let’s see our post below!

The Answer of That Question

On DSST Human Cultural Geography Test, there is a question that says:

1. Why does every map have some degree of distortion?

And, the answers of this question comes in the multiple choice, here are they:

a. Because political boundaries constantly change

b. Because the grid system is two-dimensional, but the Earth is three-dimensional

c. Because a curved surface cannot be represented on a flat surface without distorting the curvature of topography

d. Accurate maps do not have any distortion.

So, what is the answer to this question?

The answer is C. Because a curved surface cannot be represented on a flat surface without distorting the curvature of topography

Because the question is a bit hard, certainly there are a lot of people who cannot answer this question. Fortunately, there are some sources that leak the answer for this question.

Here’s the key for its question:

The main problem inherent in any type of map is that it will generate some degree of distortion of the area being accounted for. At least, there are four basic characteristics of a map which are distorted to some degree depending on the projection used: direction, shape and area.

The point is, every map projection has some degree of distortion because a curved surface cannot be represented on a flat surface without distorting the curvature of topography.

Learn More about Map Projection

The foundation of map projection is to project the earth in the form of a globe onto a flat map. As we know, earth is a big blue marble which forms a sphere or close to it. That’s why the globe is the perfect way to represent the Earth.

The globe is hard to carry in your bag or suitcase, or you can only view one side of the globe. Aside from that, it’s very hard to measure distances and it will not be as convenient as paper maps. It can be a reason why map projections on the globe are used and flatten it out in two-dimesions.

However, when you know about it, you definitely cannot represent Earth’s surface in two dimensions without distortion. Apart from that, all map projection types really have strengths and weaknesses that preserve different attributes.

To perform map projections, it will take developable surfaces such as cones, cylinders and planes. The developable surfaces aim to flatten the world in a two-dimensional plane. In this case, each surface is mathematically rendered based on those geometric shapes.

Here are some developable surfaces in map projections:

  • Conic Projections

Conic Projections

The conic projection is generated when you put a cone on the Earth and unwrap it. The examples of the conic projections are Albers Equal Area Conic and the Lambert Conformal Conic projections.

Both of those map projections will be suited for mapping long east-west regions, as distortion is constant along common parallels. However, they struggle to project the whole planet. In this case, the scale is mostly preserved, while the area is distorted. When using the conic projection, distance at the bottom of the image will suffer with the most distortion.

  • Cylindrical Projection

Cylindrical Projection

You will get the cylindrical projection when you put a cylinder around a globe and then unravel it. Surprisingly! You will then see cylindrical map projections like the Mercator and Miller for wall maps, though it inflates the Arctic.

Sure, it makes sense why Google Maps and some navigators use the Mercator projections. That’s because of the unique properties of cylinders and the north always facing up. You can also put it in a horizontal, vertical and oblique position like the State Plane Coordinate System. Well, each one will have its own use in mapping the world.

  • Azimuthal Projections

Azimuthal Projections

This type of map projection is to plot the Earth’s surface with a flat plane. It is similar to light rays that radiate from a source following straight lines. Then, the light rays will intercept the globe onto a plane at various angles.

Examples Tests about Geography

This post also shows you some examples of Geography tests that may be issued by your school department. Some questions that we will show below are available in DSST Human Cultural Geography Exam Prep that you can find at practicequiz.com.

Here are the samples of Geography tests:

1. What is the correct term for people who were forced to migrate from their homes during the Dust Bowl?

a. Okies

b. Redneck

c. Mockney

d. Pinko

2. In comparison to other “renewables,” what is the major limitation of solar power electricity production?

a. Solar panels can’t be used during the winter.

b. The reflectance of the panel negatively affects air traffic control.

c. Electricity can only really be produced for half the day.

d. The process of creating the panels requires large amounts of fossil fuels.

3. What is a proven reserve?

a. A reserve of energy that has been determined to be renewable.

b. An amount of energy that is economically-viable for a certain region

c. An amount of energy is environmentally-viable for a certain region.

d. The amount of energy resources known to be contained within a supply.

4. What is it called when two or more different parent elements develop a new form of cultural trait by fusion?

a. Syncretism

b. Synergism

c. Syncratic growth

d. Symbiotic progression

5. What is the process by which banks indicate that they will refuse to lend money for improvements to residents and business within a given area?

a. Gerrymandering

b. Anti-gentrification

c. Redlining

d. Areal discrimination

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