Suppose one had a dataset (centered on a given coordinate) of lines that were very close together in terms of longitude but also had important turns/bends far separated by latitude. In order to map this, I want to over-emphasize the x direction and de-emphasize the y-direction.

Can one do this by creating a projection in ArcMap? If so, how?


2 Answers 2


(This is really a comment on the first answer but I don't have the rep to post comments.)

It's unlikely that any conformal projection would do the job: by definition they preserve shapes, whence they should not anisotropically distort distances. That rules out the Mercator.

Equal-area projections are a good bet: they all attain their equal-area property by means of differential scale distortions. A cylindrical equal-area would align those distortions along meridians and parallels. It would be worthwhile adjusting the parameters to see what can be achieved, especially around the boundary of the projection's domain.


Sure, you could define a mercator projection with the central meridian on top of your dataset, and fiddle the standard parallels parameters

  • Maybe transverse mercator if he's after expanding the x direction.
    – om_henners
    Jul 29, 2010 at 23:44

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