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A cylindrical projection of the Earth's surface developed by Gerhardus Mercator. As in other such projections, the areas farther from the equator appear larger, making the polar regions greatly distorted. However, the faithful representation of direction in a Mercator projection makes it ideal for navigation. See more at cylindrical projection.
A way of showing the sphere of the Earth on the flat surface of a map. Because this projection is centered on the equator, in order to maintain the correct shape of the features shown, the spacing between the parallels of latitude increases with the increasing distance from the equator. This tends to enlarge the size of those features located nearer the poles, such as Greenland or New Zealand, giving a false picture of their relative size.