Squaring the circle is hard, but it’s nothing compared to the problem of flattening the globe. We like flat maps, but any map of a sphere is going to cause major distortions one way or another. So the map you like tends to be the one that distorts the stuff you care about least. Maybe you want to preserve the areas of the land masses or the great circle distance between points. That’s all good so far as it goes. But there’s a problem: map projections are a drug. They induce obsessive behavior among their users. They multiply beyond necessity and fragment into a fetishistic and surreal cornucopia. Beware!
Oh sure, you start off with a well-intentioned disdain of the old-school Mercator. Then you roll a few of Bucky Fuller’s Dymaxion Icosohedrals and chase it with a Rhombicuboctahedral. No harm done. You could stop. But soon you’re into the heavy stuff. Wiechel’s Modified Azimuthal Projection is just a gateway to a Stabius-Werner Cordiform Pseudoconic. Your lust for exotic creatures like Peirce’s glorious Quincunx are matched only by your ability to end conversations and empty rooms with impromptu lectures on Mollweide’s wicked homolographic compromise. Where will it end?
Oh Lord, keep me away from Carlos Furuti’s lovely cartography site.