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Mercator Law Guidance

Nebraska Revised Statute 79-734.02 outlines requirements for the use of map projections in K-12 public school classrooms. For more information about Mercator projection maps, please see the Legislative Research Office Snapshot.

District Requirements

  • Beginning in school year 2024-2025, the use of Mercator projection maps for general display or use is prohibited unless specific conditions are met, as described in subsection (2). Mercator projection maps may be used in conjunction with other projection maps to teach students about the limitations of different map projections and how they might influence perceptions.
  • Mercator projection maps present in materials obtained before July 19, 2024, or within geographic information systems (GIS) and software like Google Earth, may continue to be used.
  • Schools are not required to dispose of or replace any books or materials containing Mercator projection maps that were in use before July 19, 2024.
  • Each public-school district’s board of education must adopt a policy to implement the requirements of Section 79-734.02.


Mercator projection map

Mercator projection maps, first introduced by Gerardus Mercator, a 16th-century Flemish cartographer, are geographical maps of the world created by flattening a spherical globe into a two-dimensional image. While the Mercator projection is a simplified way to represent a spherical planet, the method results in a distortion of landmasses, especially toward the Earth’s poles.

Gall-Peters projection map

The Gall Peters projection, sometimes referred to as the Peters projection after Arno Peters, a German historian who published the map in 1973, is a type of map projection first described by James Gall in 1855. Unlike the Mercator projection, which maintains angles but distorts sizes, the Peters projection preserves the relative sizes of Earth’s different geographical zones. For more information regarding the Gall-Peters projection, please visit: The Gall-Peters Projection – The Cartographic Institute.

AuthaGraph projection map

The AuthaGraph projection is a relatively recent map projection method developed in 1999 by Hajime Narukawa. It aims to address limitations in traditional map projections such as distortion of sizes, shapes, and orientations of countries and continents. For more information about AuthaGraph projection maps, please visit: Miraikan – The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (

Cylindrical equal-area projection maps

An equal area map, also known as an equal-area projection or equivalent projection, is a type of map projection that accurately preserves the relative sizes of areas on Earth’s surface. On an equal area map, the proportions of landmasses and regions are represented more accurately in terms of their actual surface areas. For more information about equal-area projection maps, please see: Equal Area Projection Maps in Cartography – GIS Geography or New-Map-Projection-Meets-Cartographic-Needs-Desires.pdf (

Tools & Resources

  • Nebraska’s College and Career Ready Standards for Social Studies require that students be able to “Evaluate geographical information sources for applications, credibility, and appropriateness in displaying spatial data” (HS.3.5.c). This includes using and analyzing maps in both traditional and digital forms and being able to “evaluate strengths and weaknesses of different map projections.” The College, Career, and Civic Life C3 Framework for Social Studies State Standards provides guidance related to geographic reasoning and knowledge of the earth’s physical features and representations including maps, imagery, and geospatial technology (pgs. 40-44).
  • Due to licensing restrictions, Galls-Peters and AuthaGraph projection maps may be more difficult to access than other equal area projection maps. A small number of public domain resources are available, for example, Equal Earth Wall Map – Home ( offers free, downloadable equal area projection maps.
  • To learn more about the variations in map projections and their purposes, please visit: Maps and Cartography: Map Projections.
Updated July 12, 2024 11:18am