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# Best map projection

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joni
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Joined: 07/15/2009

I am designing a game where I need a map of the world. I know there are many map projections to choose from, but I can not decide what is the best for my game.
Basically I need two things: I need locations on the map in a regular grid-pattern, roughly representing the continents and water areas of the world. At least for playtesting I cannot make anything more fancy than a grid-pattern.
In addition to that I want a map with little distortion of the sizes of continents and the distance between continents.

OdysseyDyse
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Joined: 02/17/2011
globe vs map

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robinson_projection
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gall-Peters_projection
These are my favorites. At both those links you will find more links. I'd just find what best suits your needs.
Needless to say, it's impossible to fit the surface of a globe into a rectangle without distortion. The Mercator projection which was the norm really exaggerates the poles. I'd find a map with the continents sized the way you want, then do away with the latitude and longitude lines that go with that map and substitute the grid you need for your game. Who's going to call you on the lat and lon not being exact?

joni
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Joined: 07/15/2009
my needs

OdysseyDyse wrote:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robinson_projection
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gall-Peters_projection
These are my favourites. At both those links you will find more links. I'd just find what best suits your needs.
Needless to say, it's impossible to fit the surface of a globe into a rectangle without distortion. The Mercator projection which was the norm really exaggerates the poles. I'd find a map with the continents sized the way you want, then do away with the latitude and longitude lines that go with that map and substitute the grid you need for your game. Who's going to call you on the lat and lon not being exact?

The moving pieces in my game will be flying, so for the movement it really doesn't matter what is underneath, land or sea.
But of course it is not that simple, I want it to be the world and I want the continents and distances to be fairly recognizable.
I have read about Mercator, Robinson and Gall-Peters projection and wanted second opinions without pointing out specifics, so thank you for your reply.

I want the pieces to be able to move around the world (off one edge off the map and onto the other edge). I found a nice map resource on the net here: http://www.outline-world-map.com/, but they seem to use the Robinson projection without the curves, and that makes the Pacific and the Bering Strait all wrong. A nice flight across the Bering Strait will be as long as crossing the Atlantic... Any ideas?

The Gall-Peters projection that problem is not present. The continents seems somewhat unfamiliar (but more correct, I believe). Europe looks tiny (but maybe we are)...

I'm also thinking about ways to make travel easier (faster) near the poles and also the possibility of crossing the poles (or making a mechanic simulating crossing the poles). Maybe crossing the poles is really most interesting for the north pole, as there are much more land close to the north pole than the south pole...

... and I guess it would be pretty original to have a globe as the gameboard, but I find that almost impossible to produce or even prototype for playtesting...

let-off studios
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Joined: 02/07/2011
Using a globe...

...I think it would be exciting to play a game on a metal globe and use magnetized pieces...Have you considered that?

I'm enamored with magnets after playing (and falling in love) with Bermuda Triangle.

joni
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Joined: 07/15/2009
money, money, money

let-off studios wrote:
...I think it would be exciting to play a game on a metal globe and use magnetized pieces...Have you considered that?
I'm enamored with magnets after playing (and falling in love) with Bermuda Triangle.
Well, that sounds cool... but I guess it would cost a fortune, even to produce a prototype...

whoshim
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Joined: 05/02/2011
A little late to the party, but...

I really like the Dymaxion projection: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dymaxion_map. It is also somewhat flexible in its arrangement, which is nice for a game map.

joni
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Joined: 07/15/2009
Triangular pattern?

whoshim wrote:
I really like the Dymaxion projection: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dymaxion_map. It is also somewhat flexible in its arrangement, which is nice for a game map.

That projection was nice. But it will be difficult to make a grid pattern on it.
Anyone got brains enough to figure out how a triangular pattern would work on this map? Would the distances be fairly equal?

Badger
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Joined: 03/27/2011
Grid pattern on a Dymaxion Projection

Joni, applying a grid to a Dymaxion projection actually should be fairly easy -- IF you're willing to go with a hexagon grid instead of a square grid. For the most part, wargames use a hexagonal grid because in moving from one hexagon to any adjacent hexagon means one is covering the same distance, as opposed to a squared grid, where moving from one square to a diagonally adjacent square ("across the corners", as it were) means your piece has actually moved 1.4 times as far as if it had merely moved to an adjacent square "across a side". The angles actually work out beautifully, since each of the triangles of the the Dymaxion map is equilateral, so between that and the hex grid you're always working with angles that are integer multiples of 30 degrees -- 30, 60, 90, 120, or 180(I can't offhand think where you'd be dealing with 150 degree angles).

nine9ths
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Joined: 05/08/2011
Wanted to drop a couple links

Wanted to drop a couple links here which you may find useful

joni
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Joined: 07/15/2009
Badger wrote:Joni, applying a

Badger wrote:
Joni, applying a grid to a Dymaxion projection actually should be fairly easy -- IF you're willing to go with a hexagon grid instead of a square grid. For the most part, wargames use a hexagonal grid because in moving from one hexagon to any adjacent hexagon means one is covering the same distance, as opposed to a squared grid, where moving from one square to a diagonally adjacent square ("across the corners", as it were) means your piece has actually moved 1.4 times as far as if it had merely moved to an adjacent square "across a side". The angles actually work out beautifully, since each of the triangles of the the Dymaxion map is equilateral, so between that and the hex grid you're always working with angles that are integer multiples of 30 degrees -- 30, 60, 90, 120, or 180(I can't offhand think where you'd be dealing with 150 degree angles).
Actually my mind was pondering about a triangular grid, with moving from intersection to intersection. I think that equals moving from hex to hex in a hexagonal grid.
I was wondering if a triangular grid would greatly mess up the distances on the Dymaxion map. I guess not, but I am not an expert.
Another question is this: This Dymaxion map is apparently patented, can I get any problems with that? And in comparison to other projections there are few pictures of it...

nine9ths wrote:
Wanted to drop a couple links here which you may find useful
http://www.radicalcartography.net/index.html?projectionref
and
http://www.giss.nasa.gov/tools/gprojector/
Thanks nine9ths, I was actually looking for that 1st one (found it a while ago and did not bookmark it)...

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