Hammer projection

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Hammer projection of the world Hammer projection SW.jpg
Hammer projection of the world
The Hammer projection with Tissot's indicatrix of deformation Hammer with Tissot's Indicatrices of Distortion.svg
The Hammer projection with Tissot's indicatrix of deformation

The Hammer projection is an equal-area map projection described by Ernst Hammer in 1892. Using the same 2:1 elliptical outer shape as the Mollweide projection, Hammer intended to reduce distortion in the regions of the outer meridians, where it is extreme in the Mollweide.

Map projection Systematic representation of the surface of a sphere or ellipsoid onto a plane

A map projection is a way to "flatten" a globe's surface into a plane in order to make a map. This requires a systematic transformation of the latitudes and longitudes of locations from the surface of the globe into locations on a plane.

Mollweide projection map projection

The Mollweide projection is an equal-area, pseudocylindrical map projection generally used for global maps of the world or night sky. It is also known as the Babinet projection, homalographic projection, homolographic projection, and elliptical projection. The projection trades accuracy of angle and shape for accuracy of proportions in area, and as such is used where that property is needed, such as maps depicting global distributions.



Directly inspired by the Aitoff projection, Hammer suggested the use of the equatorial form of the Lambert azimuthal equal-area projection instead of Aitoff's use of the azimuthal equidistant projection:

Aitoff projection map projection

The Aitoff projection is a modified azimuthal map projection proposed by David A. Aitoff in 1889. Based on the equatorial form of the azimuthal equidistant projection, Aitoff first halves longitudes, then projects according to the azimuthal equidistant, and then stretches the result horizontally into a 2:1 ellipse to compensate for having halved the longitudes. Expressed simply:

Lambert azimuthal equal-area projection map projection

The Lambert azimuthal equal-area projection is a particular mapping from a sphere to a disk. It accurately represents area in all regions of the sphere, but it does not accurately represent angles. It is named for the Swiss mathematician Johann Heinrich Lambert, who announced it in 1772. "Zenithal" being synonymous with "azimuthal", the projection is also known as the Lambert zenithal equal-area projection.

Azimuthal equidistant projection azimuthal map projection

The azimuthal equidistant projection is an azimuthal map projection. It has the useful properties that all points on the map are at proportionally correct distances from the center point, and that all points on the map are at the correct azimuth (direction) from the center point. A useful application for this type of projection is a polar projection which shows all meridians as straight, with distances from the pole represented correctly. The flag of the United Nations contains an example of a polar azimuthal equidistant projection.

where laeax and laeay are the x and y components of the equatorial Lambert azimuthal equal-area projection. Written out explicitly:

The inverse is calculated with the intermediate variable

The longitude and latitudes can then be calculated by

where λ is the longitude from the central meridian and φ is the latitude. [1] [2]

Longitude A geographic coordinate that specifies the east-west position of a point on the Earths surface

Longitude, is a geographic coordinate that specifies the east–west position of a point on the Earth's surface, or the surface of a celestial body. It is an angular measurement, usually expressed in degrees and denoted by the Greek letter lambda (λ). Meridians connect points with the same longitude. By convention, one of these, the Prime Meridian, which passes through the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, England, was allocated the position of 0° longitude. The longitude of other places is measured as the angle east or west from the Prime Meridian, ranging from 0° at the Prime Meridian to +180° eastward and −180° westward. Specifically, it is the angle between a plane through the Prime Meridian and a plane through both poles and the location in question.

Latitude The angle between zenith at a point and the plane of the equator

In geography, latitude is a geographic coordinate that specifies the north–south position of a point on the Earth's surface. Latitude is an angle which ranges from 0° at the Equator to 90° at the poles. Lines of constant latitude, or parallels, run east–west as circles parallel to the equator. Latitude is used together with longitude to specify the precise location of features on the surface of the Earth. On its own, the term latitude should be taken to be the geodetic latitude as defined below. Briefly, geodetic latitude at a point is the angle formed by the vector perpendicular to the ellipsoidal surface from that point, and the equatorial plane. Also defined are six auxiliary latitudes which are used in special applications.

Visually, the Aitoff and Hammer projections are very similar. The Hammer has seen more use because of its equal-area property. The Mollweide projection is another equal-area projection of similar aspect, though with straight parallels of latitude, unlike the Hammer's curved parallels.


William A. Briesemeister presented a variant of the Hammer in 1953. In this version, the central meridian is set to 10°E, the coordinate system is rotated to bring the 45°N parallel to the center, and the resulting map is squashed horizontally and reciprocally stretched vertically to achieve a 7:4 aspect ratio instead of the 2:1 of the Hammer. The purpose is to present the land masses more centrally and with lower distortion. [3]


Before projecting to Hammer, John Bartholomew rotated the coordinate system to bring the 45° north parallel to the center, leaving the prime meridian as the central meridian. He called this variant the "Nordic" projection. [3]

John (Ian) Bartholomew British cartographer

John Bartholomew, generally known as Ian Bartholomew was a Scottish cartographer and geographer.

See also

Related Research Articles

Rhumb line arc crossing all meridians of longitude at the same angle

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Great-circle distance shortest distance between two points along the surface of a sphere

The great-circle distance or orthodromic distance is the shortest distance between two points on the surface of a sphere, measured along the surface of the sphere. The distance between two points in Euclidean space is the length of a straight line between them, but on the sphere there are no straight lines. In spaces with curvature, straight lines are replaced by geodesics. Geodesics on the sphere are circles on the sphere whose centers coincide with the center of the sphere, and are called great circles.

Orthographic projection in cartography map projection of cartography

The use of orthographic projection in cartography dates back to antiquity. Like the stereographic projection and gnomonic projection, orthographic projection is a perspective projection, in which the sphere is projected onto a tangent plane or secant plane. The point of perspective for the orthographic projection is at infinite distance. It depicts a hemisphere of the globe as it appears from outer space, where the horizon is a great circle. The shapes and areas are distorted, particularly near the edges.

Bonne projection map projection

The Bonne projection is a pseudoconical equal-area map projection, sometimes called a dépôt de la guerre, modified Flamsteed, or a Sylvanus projection. Although named after Rigobert Bonne (1727–1795), the projection was in use prior to his birth, in 1511 by Sylvano, Honter in 1561, De l'Isle before 1700 and Coronelli in 1696. Both Sylvano and Honter’s usages were approximate, however, and it is not clear they intended to be the same projection.

Bottomley projection

The Bottomley map projection is an equal area map projection defined as:

Lambert conformal conic projection map projection

A Lambert conformal conic projection (LCC) is a conic map projection used for aeronautical charts, portions of the State Plane Coordinate System, and many national and regional mapping systems. It is one of seven projections introduced by Johann Heinrich Lambert in his 1772 publication Anmerkungen und Zusätze zur Entwerfung der Land- und Himmelscharten.

Albers projection map projection

The Albers equal-area conic projection, or Albers projection, is a conic, equal area map projection that uses two standard parallels. Although scale and shape are not preserved, distortion is minimal between the standard parallels.

Van der Grinten projection map projection

The van der Grinten projection is a compromise map projection, which means that it is neither equal-area nor conformal. Unlike perspective projections, the van der Grinten projection is an arbitrary geometric construction on the plane. Van der Grinten projects the entire Earth into a circle. It largely preserves the familiar shapes of the Mercator projection while modestly reducing Mercator's distortion. Polar regions are subject to extreme distortion.

Space-oblique Mercator projection map projection

Space-oblique Mercator projection is a map projection devised in the 1970s for preparing maps from Earth-survey satellite data. It is a generalization of the oblique Mercator projection that incorporates the time evolution of a given satellite ground track to optimize its representation on the map. The oblique Mercator projection, on the other hand, optimizes for a given geodesic.

Winkel tripel projection compromise map projection defined as the arithmetic mean of the equirectangular projection and the Aitoff projection

The Winkel tripel projection, a modified azimuthal map projection of the world, is one of three projections proposed by German cartographer Oswald Winkel in 1921. The projection is the arithmetic mean of the equirectangular projection and the Aitoff projection: The name tripel refers to Winkel's goal of minimizing three kinds of distortion: area, direction, and distance.

Cassini projection map projection

The Cassini projection is a map projection described by César-François Cassini de Thury in 1745. It is the transverse aspect of the equirectangular projection, in that the globe is first rotated so the central meridian becomes the "equator", and then the normal equirectangular projection is applied. Considering the earth as a sphere, the projection is composed of the operations:

Cylindrical equal-area projection

In cartography, the cylindrical equal-area projection is a family of cylindrical, equal-area map projections.

Eckert IV projection

The Eckert IV projection is an equal-area pseudocylindrical map projection. The length of the polar lines is half that of the equator, and lines of longitude are semiellipses, or portions of ellipses. It was first described by Max Eckert in 1906 as one of a series of three pairs of pseudocylindrical projections. In each pair, the meridians have the same shape, and the odd-numbered projection has equally spaced parallels, whereas the even-numbered projection has parallels spaced to preserve area. The pair to Eckert IV is the Eckert III projection.

Hammer retroazimuthal projection

The Hammer retroazimuthal projection is a modified azimuthal proposed by Ernst Hermann Heinrich Hammer in 1910. As a retroazimuthal projection, azimuths (directions) are correct from any point to the designated center point. Additionally, all distances from the center of the map are proportional to what they are on the globe. In whole-world presentation, the back and front hemispheres overlap, making the projection a non-injective function. The back hemisphere can be rotated 180° to avoid overlap, but in this case, any azimuths measured from the back hemisphere must be corrected.

Armadillo projection

The armadillo projection is a map projection used for world maps. It is neither conformal nor equal-area but instead affords a view evoking a perspective projection while showing most of the globe instead of the half or less that a perspective would. The projection was presented in 1943 by Erwin Raisz (1893–1968) as part of a series of "orthoapsidal" projections, which are perspectives of the globe projected onto various surfaces. This one in the series has the globe projected onto half a torus. Raisz singled it out and named it the "armadillo" projection.

Boggs eumorphic projection

The Boggs eumorphic projection is a pseudocylindrical, equal-area map projection used for world maps. Normally it is presented with multiple interruptions. Its equal-area property makes it useful for presenting spatial distribution of phenomena. The projection was developed in 1929 by Samuel Whittemore Boggs (1889–1954) to provide an alternative to the Mercator projection for portraying global areal relationships. Boggs was geographer for the United States Department of State from 1924 until his death. The Boggs eumorphic projection has been used occasionally in textbooks and atlases.

Strebe 1995 projection

The Strebe 1995 projection, Strebe projection, Strebe lenticular equal-area projection, or Strebe equal-area polyconic projection is an equal-area map projection presented by Daniel "daan" Strebe in 1994. Strebe designed the projection to keep all areas proportionally correct in size; to push as much of the inevitable distortion as feasible away from the continental masses and into the Pacific Ocean; to keep a familiar equatorial orientation; and to do all this without slicing up the map.

The Eckert-Greifendorff projection is an equal-area map projection described by Max Eckert-Greifendorff in 1935. Unlike his previous six projections, It is not pseudocylindrical.


  1. Flattening the Earth: Two Thousand Years of Map Projections, John P. Snyder, 1993, pp. 130–133, ISBN   0-226-76747-7.
  2. Weisstein, Eric W. "Hammer–Aitoff Equal-Area Projection." From MathWorld—A Wolfram Web Resource
  3. 1 2 Snyder, John P.; Voxland, Philip M. (1989). An Album of Map Projections. Professional Paper 1453. Denver: USGS. p. 162. ISBN   978-0160033681 . Retrieved 2018-03-29.