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Like the title says, how would someone configure Mapnik to use the Waterman butterfly projection ?

Otherwise, what other tools would be able to render using this projection ?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

I don't think mapnik or proj4 are able to render that kind of projection.

According to that excellent post, Openlayers with protovis library would be able to render not exactly the Waterman projection but the Fuller projection (also called Dymaxion).

You even have an online example here.

dymaxion - openlayers

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That projection could be a good alternative indeed, thanks. – wildpeaks Nov 16 '11 at 11:24

It's not for Mapnik, but at least the Polyhedral Geographic Projections plugin for d3.js can render that projection.

Screenshot of the d3.js example

Example from

<!DOCTYPE html>
<meta charset="utf-8">

body {
  background: #fcfcfa;

.stroke {
  fill: none;
  stroke: #000;
  stroke-width: 3px;

.fill {
  fill: #fff;

.graticule {
  fill: none;
  stroke: #777;
  stroke-width: .5px;
  stroke-opacity: .5;

.land {
  fill: #222;

.boundary {
  fill: none;
  stroke: #fff;
  stroke-width: .5px;

<script src=""></script>
<script src=""></script>
<script src=""></script>

var width = 960,
    height = 550;

var projection = d3.geo.polyhedron.waterman()
    .rotate([20, 0])
    .translate([width / 2, height / 2])

var path = d3.geo.path()

var graticule = d3.geo.graticule();

var svg ="body").append("svg")
    .attr("width", width)
    .attr("height", height);

var defs = svg.append("defs");

    .datum({type: "Sphere"})
    .attr("id", "sphere")
    .attr("d", path);

    .attr("id", "clip")
    .attr("xlink:href", "#sphere");

    .attr("class", "stroke")
    .attr("xlink:href", "#sphere");

    .attr("class", "fill")
    .attr("xlink:href", "#sphere");

    .attr("class", "graticule")
    .attr("clip-path", "url(#clip)")
    .attr("d", path);

d3.json("/mbostock/raw/4090846/world-50m.json", function(error, world) {
  svg.insert("path", ".graticule")
      .attr("class", "land")
      .attr("clip-path", "url(#clip)")
      .attr("d", path);

  svg.insert("path", ".graticule")
      .datum(topojson.mesh(world, world.objects.countries, function(a, b) { return a !== b; }))
      .attr("class", "boundary")
      .attr("clip-path", "url(#clip)")
      .attr("d", path);
});"height", height + "px");

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