Scientists try to fix flat maps with new double-sided projections

A double-sided projection to show off our 3D planet in 2D. | Image: Gott, Goldberg, Vanderbei

A trio of scientists have devised a new way to try to represent our spherical planet as a flat picture with a new class of projection that involves printing the map as a double-sided circle, reports. The Double-Sided Gott projections involve splitting a globe in two and printing the separate hemispheres on separate sides. The paper is the work of J. Richard Gott, Robert Vanderbei, and David Goldberg from Princeton and Drexel universities.

While 3D globes are the most accurate way of representing the layout of the Earth’s surface, it’s much more convenient to refer to a 2D representation. There are a variety of ways of converting this 3D shape into 2D, which are referred to as map projections, but none of them are perfect.

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