If the poles were elsewhere

I am curious what maps of the Earth would look like if their north/south poles were placed elsewhere than where they are usually placed. For example, if the north pole were in the middle of the USA or something.

Is there anywhere I can go to find something like this? Or is there some bit of software I could use to see for myself?


Are you looking for, say, ice cap coverage? Or maybe ocean currents with a different axis of rotation?

Oh, no, nothing like that–just what the map would look like. Depends on the projection of course.


(I did kind of wonder if a different location for the axis would have had any predictable effects on the actual shapes and locations of the continents, but that wasn’t what I was explicitly asking about.)

At present, one pole is in the middle of an ocean while the other is in the middle of continent. If both were in an ocean, then wouldn’t the ocean level be higher, because both polar ice caps would be floating in the ocean? That would make a big change to the map: e.g., most of Bangladesh would be in the Bay of Bengal.

If both ice caps were in the ocean, sea levels would be much higher, which would affect the shapes of the continents.

So, you don’t actually want to move the geographic poles. You just want a different projection.

I think that Frylock is asking what the map of the world would look like if it were based on a great circle other than the equator. See here for some background.

It actually wouldn’t be that hard to write a program to do this given a set of spherical coordinates describing the continents (i.e., associate a label with each point to say whether it’s land or water). That sort of data has to be out there somewhere. Any cartographers or GIS folks have a link?

Yes, thank you for being articulate on my behalf. :stuck_out_tongue:


Like this? (weird!)

…they would not be hampered by the lack of defensible terrain in fending off the constant attacks by the Russians and Germans.

Finally, Greenland is displayed in something like its appropriate size!

Magnetic or rotational?

This java applet seems to do what you want.