What else can it be? I mean, there are rectangular maps but if you try to transform a sphere into a 2D rectangle, you fail. The closest thing to a rectangle is this:
So complicated distortions are needed if earth in’t really flat!
To our bad luck earth is spherical ( Some people still think it’s flat!) so we need projections that have distortions. You can’t find a projection that can simultaneously preserve length, direction, area and shape. So many projections were created to go from 3D to 2D.
Today, we aren’t using the most accurate projection. But we are using the most visually pleasing, the mercator. Now that GPS systems are the reliable source of positioning, we need maps that preserve shape. We don’t care about scale. You can have fun with the sizes here. To go seamlessly from map view to image view, the mercator is a good choice.
Looking at this example, math is suddenly interesting. Thanks school for making it a pain in the ass 🙂