Natural Earth

Classification Pseudo cylindrical
Available forms Forward and inverse, spherical projection
Defined area Global
Implemented by Bernhard Jenny
No special options for this projection
Natural Earth

The Natural Earth projection is intended for making world maps. A distinguishing trait is its slightly rounded corners fashioned to emulate the spherical shape of Earth. The meridians (except for the central meridian) bend acutely inward as they approach the pole lines, giving the projection a hint of three-dimensionality. This bending also suggests that the meridians converge at the poles instead of truncating at the top and bottom edges. The distortion characteristics of the Natural Earth projection compare favorably to other world map projections.


The Natural Earth projection has no special options so usage is simple. Here is an example of an inverse projection on a sphere with a radius of 7500 m:

$ echo 3500 -8000 | proj -I +proj=natearth +a=7500
37d54'6.091"E  61d23'4.582"S

Further reading

  1. Wikipedia