Anyone have any idea how to create (or where to find) the Waterman "Butterfly" projection in ArcMap?


ESRI does not offer a way to use a waterman projection/datum because the Waterman Butterfly is converted from a sphere to a polyhedral conversion and all other projections are dependent on major axis, minor axis, semimajor axis, semiminor axis, and inverse flattening for sphere to ellipsoid conversion (technically using the following: ellipsoid, cone, or cylinder geometry). ESRI would need to do some dev work to grant users the ability to add dimensions and use other geometry for projections/datums that are non-standard. For example, currently you cannot modify inverse flattening and make your own projection in esri. In other platforms you can. ESRI does provide software developers kits for android, iOS, Java, .NET, OSX, Qt, Xamarin if you wanted to leverage developement outside of ESRI. Also, it could be done in open source like gdal ogr2ogr or quantumgis with a custom .py or c++ library. I hope this helps.

  • this appears to be a comment on the answer not an answer in its own right. You should edit you answer so it is more of an answer rather than a comment, otherwise it risks being deleted – nmtoken Oct 12 '16 at 15:27
  • @prometheus I'm having trouble understanding the first part of your answer. It's more usual to convert from ellipsoid to sphere (because a projection doesn't support ellipsoids) but we also need inverse methods so that a projection can be used for rasters and vectors. We support a few polyhedral projection so that's not an issue. You can create custom pcs, gcs, datums, and "spheroids." I work for Esri on the projection engine. – mkennedy Oct 12 '16 at 19:25
  • Fee free to email me if you're having particular problems or have questions about support for a particular projection. mkennedy at the esri domain. – mkennedy Oct 12 '16 at 19:38

I don't think ArcMap offers transformation into such a projection; I searched around a bit and can't find an EPSG for Waterman's or Cahill's original butterfly, octahedral map.

Something that you might find useful is the Cahill-Keyes projection, by @Gene Keyes. The two topics in which he has posted should give you somewhat of a starting point. No ArcMap implementation, but there is a Javascript one.

Good luck!

  • 5
    Esri does not support the Waterman, Cahill, nor Cahill-Keyes projections. I didn't find any enhancement requests for them either. As another Q/A pointed out, the Fuller projection is a possible alternative. Note: I'm the projections person at Esri. – mkennedy Oct 30 '13 at 21:22
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    @mkennedy, thanks for the heads-up. I added the idea on the ArcGIS Ideas website: c.na9.visual.force.com/apex/… – HasecBinUsr Oct 30 '13 at 21:39

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