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Sun Jan 03, 2021 14 Projections for 2021 (Part 1)

If you wonder what this is about at all, you probably didn’t read the intro.

January: Ginzburg V

Ginzburg V
Creator G. A. Ginzburg (1950)
Group Lenticular
Property Compromise
Other Names
  • TsNIIGAiK Modified Polyconic, 1950

The Ginzburg V was developed in 1950 to be used in Soviet school atlases[1] but remained rather unknown apart from that. Which is regrettable, in my opinion it’s a very elegant, attractive projection.
It certainly doesn’t look too horribly unfamiliar because its “look & feel” it quite similar to the famous Winkel Tripel:
Compare Ginzburg V and Winkel Tripel.

However, this calendar is about projections that show particularly low distortion values according to one or the other comparison scheme. Unfortunately to my knowledge the Ginzburg V has been surveyed only once, namely by Richard Capek[2] when he introduced his distortion characterization Q in 2001, where it took the pole position of a hundred projections!
Granted, since then a bunch of projections with minimized distortion values have been developed so it’s not unlikely that the Ginzburg V meanwhile has been outpaced – and Q does have its drawbacks (I guess I’ll have to write about that at some point in the future), but still that’s a good start for my collection of low distortion projections.

Let’s have a look at the distortion visualizations:

Lighter hues mean less distortion. Darker hues mean more distortion.
On the areal distortions, the red lines mark values of 1.0 (= equal-area, no distortions; the dashed line), 1.2 and 2.0.
On the angular deformations, the red lines mark distortion of 20° (the dashed line), 40° and 80°.

A word about the map image:
A short while ago, I found a rendering of the Lagrange projection on John G. Savard’s great map projection website which used the NOAA ETOPO2: Topography and Bathymetry dataset. I instantly liked the black/dark grey oceans but I was not so fond of the way the continents look. So I modified one of my own elevation maps, created with the help of Simple DEM Viewer, to have oceans in the same style, and projected it to Ginzburg V with Geocart.
I like this image a lot! It probably would be difficult to handle for a real world maps with labels, but I think it’s great for decorative matters.

Next month, we’ll see one of the aforementioned “bunch of projections with minimized distortion values”.


  1. Snyder, John P.: Flattening the Earth: Two Thousand Years of Map Projections.
    Chicago 1993, page 248.
  2. Richard Capek, 2001:
    Which is the Best Projection for the World Map?


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