I would like to reproduce this map which was originally printed in mare, a German magazine.

Die Mare map

I have done some research and think it is a projection by Athelstan Spilhaus. I would like to be able to produce it using QGIS version 3. This is an interesting article about the projection: https://le-cartographe.net/blog/archives/342-athelstan-spilhaus And this is another interesting page from Jason Davies: https://www.jasondavies.com/maps/spilhaus/11/

I have tried with an antarctic polar stereographic projection (EPSG 3031) where I changed the standard parallel to various different lines of latitude but this does not show the north pole correctly, nor does it have the coastline around the edge. I have tried using a lambert azimuthal equal area projection with the latitude or origin at 0, but this doesn't get close to it either. It seems to be a mix between a Hammer and Petermann projection, according to the french article above.

How would I make this in QGIS? Is it possible? (I have a feeling that the answer is no, but I wanted to ask others).

  • 4
    Welcome to GIS.se! The answer to "is this possible?" is almost certainly 'yes', but please take the tour for understanding of how to ask a good, focussed question here. Have you tried anything so far?
    – Simbamangu
    Commented Jun 25, 2018 at 13:34
  • Thanks for the link to the tour. I'll have a look. I have tried many versions of a polar projection, and also lambert azumuthal equal area projections where both poles are visible. Also a general stereographic projection with custom parameters. But none of these seem to get close.
    – LauraG
    Commented Jun 25, 2018 at 14:06
  • 1
    You're not going to get this with a standard map projection because land masses are not just divided, some are replicated (South America), so it would need graphic changes and/or merging of 2 different projections.
    – mkennedy
    Commented Jun 25, 2018 at 17:40
  • If you wish to try doing this in ArcMap too then, please ask about that in a separate question.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Jun 25, 2018 at 19:25
  • Athelstan Spilhaus Projection quand les oceans sont au centre du monde "when the oceans are at the center of the world" le-cartographe.net/blog/archives/342-athelstan-spilhaus
    – Mapperz
    Commented Jun 25, 2018 at 19:37

3 Answers 3


I suppose that you are looking for a Polar Stereographic Projection even if this map doesn't look as a GIS product, but more like an illustration. Anyway, why don't you have a go with EPSG:3031 (Antarctic Projection)?

Update: are you sure that this is not the right way? I obtain this map using the Natural Earth Data and EPSG:3031 in QGIS.Map with EPGS:3031 It looks pretty much like the thing you wanted. The problem of the distance of Antarctica from the other continents is probably due to the fact that the original map is not in scale: it must be an illustration more than a GIS map.

  • Hi, I have tried with EPSG 3031 already but it doesn't produce anything like this from what I can see. The difficulty seems to be getting the land to border the whole way around the edge. Thanks for the suggestion though.
    – LauraG
    Commented Jun 25, 2018 at 14:04
  • @LauraG I improved my answer, so I could attach an example map
    – SaraZanni
    Commented Jun 25, 2018 at 14:44
  • Thanks for including the screenshot. I work mainly in the polar regions so I have made many maps using this projection. The trouble is getting the north pole to show properly, and getting the land wrapped around the edge. I can't see how this is possible with this polar stereographic projection.
    – LauraG
    Commented Jun 25, 2018 at 14:53

The way the edge of South America cuts off and continues elsewhere, reminds of the Fuller (Dymaxion) map projection, or a variation thereof.

This question has an answer that says...

ESRI has a few 'interesting' SRS that are not available in the EPSG catalog (e.g. the Dymaxion and a cube projection) but they are not in common use.

So it looks like that projection is supported. But obviously the above map has a degree of artistic work in it, to fill in the gaps. I doubt you'll find a projection that matches that style exactly.

  • But the Fuller Projection is based on an icosahedron: how can it be the correct projection?
    – SaraZanni
    Commented Jun 25, 2018 at 14:55
  • 1
    I said it reminds me of that, with the way that bits of country are cut off and appear on the other side of the map. And obviously there is a lot of artistic license that accounts for infilling between triangle edges. But the graticule lines are quite clear and they certainly don't look polar. The meridians are curved and the angles don't look conformal to me. And scale doesn't increase away from the pole as I would think a polar projection would. Commented Jun 25, 2018 at 16:14

According to this article, the projection used was a combination of projections by Hammer and Petermann. If you select Hammer in this interactive map projection application based on d3js, you can drag Antarctica to the middle and get a similar view. If that was close enough, it looks like the Hammer projection is in proj4, which is what ArcGIS and QGIS both use, so if you could find the right custom parameters, it seems possible. Would be really cool!

  • 1
    Thank you for your answer. I had found that article before and tried very quickly playing around with the hammer projection (in ArcMap although I presume it would be the same in QGIS), but I couldn't make it look that similar in the end.
    – LauraG
    Commented Jun 26, 2018 at 14:49

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