I have made this map:

Flight Distances between Luleå to designated countries and Rome to designated countries

The intention of the map is to make it clear that the distances is shorter from Luleå than from Rome. As you can see that is not the case here.

Which ways are there to make that more clear? I've been trying to change map projections but that isn't possible for some reason? What projections is recommended?

  • 1
    It is unclear about what you are asking. Are you asking how to show the flight paths more clearly, the text on top of the page showing the distances, or something else?
    – GeoSharp
    Oct 31, 2015 at 10:31
  • Sorry for beeing unclear. What i want is, that when you look at the map you will think "hey, Luleå i way closer than Rome to all designations". They actually are, but when you look at it now it appears to be further away.
    – Kangaroo
    Oct 31, 2015 at 10:36
  • 1
    Here is a write-up about how to chose a projection based on different mapping needs. It also has a good amount of background information that will be helpful for you:-)
    – GeoSharp
    Oct 31, 2015 at 10:51

1 Answer 1


The issue here is that you're using a plate carrée (i.e., "geographic" projection), which severely distorts distance. The only way I know to definitely show what you're trying to show is to use two world maps, both of them centered on either Rome or Lulea, and to make sure that both are equidistant projections in all directions from the center point - something like "azimuthal equidistant." In ArcMap (which it looks like you used), you can have two data frames, one for either map, and then set the coordinate system to be projected with the azimuthal equidistant projection, except you have to edit each one to be centered on the lat and long of either Rome or Lulea. Then, if you show the maps beside each other at the same scale, the distances will actually be correctly relative.

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