Exporting a globe to a Mercator projection

Hi, I’m very new to GPlates and I’m finding it quite hard to find resources on how to use the software that aren’t just a TA explaining a lab to university students on youtube, so excuse me if my question is very basic.

I am trying to build a world using the software, and in order to do so I first need to create a pattern on a globe, and then draw some basic elements on a Mercator projection with that pattern. I have used the circle and line features to draw this pattern, and now I would ideally have a png in the Mercator projection so that I can start the rest of the process.

When I try to export, the “Projected Geometries(and Rasters, 3D Scalar Feilds)” and “Image (screenshots)” options are what some places said I should use, but those only give me well… a screenshot.

I hope this is enough information to help understand my issue. If you know of how to do what I need or know where I can find the required resources to learn how to do it then I would appreciate the guidence.

Hi Nessie,

I reckon the easiest option for you would be to press CTRL+3 when you have GPlates open in order to switch your display to a Mercator projection (the same can also be achieved by clicking on the drop down menu on the bottom left and selecting “Mercator”):

From then on you should see the world in Mercator projection and all exports of screenshots as rasters or SVGs should now be in that projection.

Alternatively, you can also chose to export your features as “reconstructed geometries” as (vector) SHP files, fire up a GIS like QGIS or plot a basemap with those features using GMT in Mercator projection. Keep in mind that Mercator is not quite ideal for global scale maps due to the large distortions in high latitudes.


Thank you very much! This is very helpful.