Illustrating the beauty of skull suture lines and their similarity to meandering rivers and islands, by using the spatial relations (and distortions) of various map projections. 

Waterman Butterfly
Both area and angles are preserved well in this projection, but you do have to mentally reconstruct the satsuma peel
Miller Cylindrical
A projection that largely preserves bearings (angle) relations, but distorts distances especially at the poles
Mollweide Equal-Area
Area relations are accurate but shapes and angles are badly distorted at the edges of the map
Lambert Equitorial Azimuthal
A projection that preserves shape and area relatively well, whilst still echoing the spherical shape in the image
Lambert's Ortho-Polar (internal)
Showing the inside of the skull and the routes of the cranial nerves
Lambert's  Ortho-Polar (external)
Showing the base and top of the skull exterior view
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Human skulls are close to a spherical shape, and so can be mapped using various geographical projections in order to show the shape on a 2D surface. This helps show the different bones of the skull and how they inter-relate.

Map projections can be made to prioritise the shape, the size or the angles of the relationships, but it means distorting the other proportions. Cylindrical projections such as Mercator or Miller distort the "poles" (top of the skull in this case) by stretching it to fill the map. Areas are also therefore distorted, but the angles (or bearings for navigation) are preserved.

Mollweide's equal area projection preserves the size of the bones on the map, but distorts angles to fit the area in, and so badly mis-represent the shape of bones at the edges of the map.

Lambert's orthogonal projections accurately represent shapes and angles at the middle of the map, but distort the edges as though seeing the sphere from above, so that anything approaching the visible edge is compressed. Other projections can expand the whole globe onto one circle, but distortion is much increased.

The butterfly projection is a great compromise to maintaining shape, angle and area. However, you have to be able to mentally reconstruct the orange peel into a globe to understand relations across large areas.

© Copyright 2020 Susan Elaine Jones