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Projections: The Art and Science of Flattening the World **Home Study**

Projections: The Art and Science of Flattening the World **Home Study**

Authur: Bernabe A Hernandez, Ph.D, PE, PLS

This brief history of map projections is the story of the evolution of our profession in the art and science of map making, of expanding our horizons to the idea of mapping as a cognitive/interpretive science involving communication between the map creator and the map user, of how we as surveyors and mappers have developed mapping as a process of spatial communication. In this course, we will disregard the idea prevalent in many areas that separates the process of data collection, necessary for the making of the map, from the creation of the map itself. An idea that excludes such fieldwork as land surveying, photogrammetry, etc. from what we will come to understand as cartography. 
The map brings into play the technical and scientific base of its creator and the social and cultural necessity of the user, the historical context uses of maps.  These “things” we call maps are accepted as depicting some geographical area but, we hardly ever question the underlying cartographic concepts and techniques that went into its creation. This brief history of map projections is not just the history of the progress and increase accuracy in map creation by “better” instrumentation and mathematics but, must consider the social and political effects that resulted in their use by Western Civilization. In addition, this brief history will study both the information that the map contains graphically and how has the map been represented physically / graphically. Therefore, we need to further discuss what we understand or perceive as a map and what we understand by map projections in the creation of cartography as an art and science.
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