I am working in the area near to Virunga National Park, in DRCongo, Uganda and Rwanda.

I have established my working area in the zone 35 south. However, I also have to work with data from Uganda and Rwanda, which is not only in that zone. The data from Uganda and Rwanda is in GCS WGS84.

Should I first project my data to UTM 35S, even though not all the area falls into zone 35S? and then,

Should I reproject all of my data to South Pole Lambert Azimuthal Equal Area or Albers equal-area? Which is better to my working area?

Thanks for your help!


The area of interest only crosses into UTM zone 36 south by a few degrees. It would be fine to use UTM 35 South for the entire area. UTM is a conformal projection which maintains shape. For some work you might want to reproject into an equal area projection, but you would want to make a custom one with parameters that are in the area of interest. Given the shape of the park, either Lambert azimuthal equal area or Albers would work.

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    (+1) This region is oriented roughly north-south. A modified TM projection would work better than UTM: just shift the origin of one of the neighboring UTM zones by three degrees or so east or west. Changing the scale factor from 0.9996 to 1.000 to obtain more accurate areas would produce a projection suitable for fairly high-accuracy area calculations as well as for conformal mapping. – whuber May 2 '14 at 19:10

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