onsdag den 16. december 2009

Clever folds in a globe give new perspectives on Earth

Spatial origami for kortnørder ...

Origami for spatially minded mappers ...


A new technique for unpeeling the Earth's skin and displaying it on a flat surface provides a fresh perspective on geography, making it possible to create maps that string out the continents for easy comparison, or lump together the world's oceans into one huge mass of water surrounded by coastlines.

See a gallery of the new maps

"Myriahedral projection" was developed by Jack van Wijk, a computer scientist at the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands.

"The basic idea is surprisingly simple," says van Wijk. His algorithms divide the globe's surface into small polygons that are unfolded into a flat map, just as a cube can be unfolded into six squares.

Cartographers have tried this trick before; van Wijk's innovation is to up the number of polygons from just a few to thousands. He has coined the word "myriahedral" to describe it, a combination of "myriad" with "polyhedron", the name for polygonal 3D shapes. [...]

Read more: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18264-clever-folds-in-a-globe-give-new-perspectives-on-earth.html

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