Welcome to the NavList Message Boards.


A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding

Compose Your Message

Add Images & Files
    Re: Death to the Mercator Projection
    From: John D. Howard
    Date: 2018 Aug 12, 08:41 -0700


    No map or chart is best for all uses.  That being said, the Mercator is not good for many, modern, applacations. IMO

    Any map is OK for small area - you would not notice a difference ( not talking about artic - another whole ball of wax ) but large area is where the differences show.  You say you like radar.  You cannot plot a radar bearing on a Mercator chart.  Any bearing from an electronic device ie. RDF, or VOR ( an aircraft navaid ) can't be plotted because they are great circle.  Even a visual sight is great circle but is short distance so any projection will do.

    I have flown over 50 years and in all that time never used a Mercator chart.  All aircraft charts ( that I used ) were Lambert Conformal Conic, both Air Force and civilian.  The military TPC charts are 1 : 500,000 and the larger ONCs are 1 : 1,000,000  The civilian Low Altitude Enroute by Jeppesen are also Lambert.  ( Looking at my old charts I see I did use a Mercator once but it was a Transver Mercator between New Zeeland and Antarticia )

    Because airplanes fly high our visual range is much greater and because most navigation is done using electronic aids the need to plot a bearing onto the chart was needed.  Early on ( early 20th C. ) pilots used marine charts but very rapidly developed avation charts - most in the Lambert Conformal Conic projection.

    Just my view from the pilot's seat.

    John H

    Browse Files

    Drop Files


    What is NavList?

    Join NavList

    (please, no nicknames or handles)
    Do you want to receive all group messages by email?
    Yes No

    You can also join by posting. Your first on-topic post automatically makes you a member.

    Posting Code

    Enter the email address associated with your NavList messages. Your posting code will be emailed to you immediately.

    Email Settings

    Posting Code:

    Custom Index

    Start date: (yyyymm dd)
    End date: (yyyymm dd)

    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site