Weekend Reading: Tissot's Indicatrix, National Park Fonts, and Starlink

June 8, 2019 • #

🌐 Tissot’s Indicatrix

This is a neat interactive tool to visualize distortion due to map projection using Tissot’s indicatrix, a mathematical model for calculating the amount of warp at different points:

Nicolas Auguste Tissot published his classic analysis on the distortion on maps in 1859 and 1881. The basic idea is that the intersection of any two lines on the Earth is represented on the flat map with an intersection at the same or a different angle. He proved that at almost every point on the Earth, there’s a right angle intersection of two lines in some direction which are also shown at right angles on the map. All the other intersections at that point will not intersect at the same angle on the map, unless the map is conformal, at least at that point.

🏞 National Park Typeface

A typeface designed to mimic the National Park Service signs that are carved using a router bit.

Perfect timing on finding this one. I’ve been working on a cartography project to simulate a USGS-style topographic map in QGIS, and this could work perfectly in that design. Excellent work from the Design Outside Studio.

SpaceX is developing a space-based broadband internet system of 24 satellites. The design of this hardware looks incredible. I hope it gets traction and sparks a consumerization of this sort of tech. Between projects like this and the work of Planet and others with microsatellites, that industry seems like it’s on the cusp of some big things.