Making a flat map of a round planet is a challenge all mapmakers have to deal with. Watch this video to learn why every map projection has some distortion.

Our media can be used in a variety of contexts—from media spotlights to encyclopedic entries to lessons. From this page, check out the different ways you can use this video.

Other Pages That Use This Item

GIS (geographic information system)
GIS (geographic information system) Encyclopedic Entry

Best For
6-12+

Subjects
Geography, Social Studies

Appropriate For

  • Educators
  • Families
  • Students

A geographic information system (GIS) is a computer system for capturing, storing, checking, and displaying data related to positions on Earth’s surface.

Investigating Map Projections
Investigating Map Projections Activity

Best For
5-12

Subjects
Geography

Appropriate For

  • Educators

Students use oranges to investigate the effects of changing a 3-D surface to a 2-D surface. They then examine the distortions of different map projections while comparing land and ocean to its representation on a globe.