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The General Perspective projection is a map projection. When the Earth is photographed from space, the camera records the view as a perspective projection. When the camera is aimed toward the center of the Earth, the resulting projection is called Vertical Perspective. When aimed in other directions, the resulting projection is called a Tilted Perspective.
The Vertical Perspective is related to the stereographic projection, gnomonic projection, and orthographic projection. These are all true perspective projections, meaning that they result from viewing the globe from some vantage point. They are also azimuthal projections, meaning that the projection surface is a plane tangent to the sphere. This results in correct directions from the center to all other points. The point of perspective, or vantage point, for the General Perspective Projection is at a finite distance. It depicts the earth as it appears from some relatively short distance above the surface, typically a few hundred to a few tens of thousands of kilometers.
When tilted, the General Perspective projection is not azimuthal (see second figure below); directions are not true from the central point, and the projection plane is not tangent to the sphere. Tilted perspectives are common from aerial and low orbit photography, generally taken from at a height measured in kilometers to hundreds of kilometers, rather than the hundreds or thousands of kilometers typical of a vertical perspective. Some prominent Internet mapping tools also use the tilted perspective projection. For example, Google Earth and NASA World Wind show the globe as it appears from space. These applications permit a wide variety of interactive pan and zoom operations, including fly-through simulations, mimicking pictures or movies taken with a hand-held camera from an airplane or spacecraft.
Some forms of the projection were known to the Greeks and Egyptians 2,000 years ago. It was studied by several French and British scientists in the 18th and 19th centuries. However, the projection had little practical value at that time; computationally simpler nonperspective azimuthal projections could be used instead.
Space exploration led to a renewed interest in the perspective projection. Now the concern was for a pictorial view from space, not for minimal distortion. A picture taken with a hand-held camera from the window of a spacecraft has a tilted vertical perspective, so the manned Gemini and Apollo space missions sparked interest in this projection.
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An azimuth is an angular measurement in a spherical coordinate system. The vector from an observer (origin) to a point of interest is projected perpendicularly onto a reference plane; the angle between the projected vector and a reference vector on the reference plane is called the azimuth.
The horizontal coordinate system, also known as topocentric coordinate system, is a celestial coordinate system that uses the observer's local horizon as the fundamental plane. Coordinates of an object in the sky are expressed in terms of altitude angle and azimuth.
In cartography, a map projection is a way to flatten a globe's surface into a plane in order to make a map. This requires a systematic transformation of the latitudes and longitudes of locations from the surface of the globe into locations on a plane. All projections of a sphere on a plane necessarily distort the surface in some way and to some extent. Depending on the purpose of the map, some distortions are acceptable and others are not; therefore, different map projections exist in order to preserve some properties of the sphere-like body at the expense of other properties. Every distinct map projection distorts in a distinct way, by definition. The study of map projections is the characterization of these distortions. There is no limit to the number of possible map projections. Projections are a subject of several pure mathematical fields, including differential geometry, projective geometry, and manifolds. However, "map projection" refers specifically to a cartographic projection.
In astronomy, an analemma is a diagram showing the position of the Sun in the sky, as seen from a fixed location on Earth at the same mean solar time, as that position varies over the course of a year. The diagram will resemble the figure 8. Globes of Earth often display an analemma.
Surveyor 1 was the first lunar soft-lander in the uncrewed Surveyor program of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. This lunar soft-lander gathered data about the lunar surface that would be needed for the crewed Apollo Moon landings that began in 1969. The successful soft landing of Surveyor 1 on the Ocean of Storms was the first by an American space probe on any extraterrestrial body, occurring on the first attempt and just four months after the first Moon landing by the Soviet Union's Luna 9 probe.
In geometry, the stereographic projection is a particular mapping (function) that projects a sphere onto a plane. The projection is defined on the entire sphere, except at one point: the projection point. Where it is defined, the mapping is smooth and bijective. It is conformal, meaning that it preserves angles at which curves meet. It is neither isometric nor area-preserving: that is, it preserves neither distances nor the areas of figures.
Orthographic projection is a means of representing three-dimensional objects in two dimensions. It is a form of parallel projection, in which all the projection lines are orthogonal to the projection plane, resulting in every plane of the scene appearing in affine transformation on the viewing surface. The obverse of an orthographic projection is an oblique projection, which is a parallel projection in which the projection lines are not orthogonal to the projection plane.
A 3D projection or graphical projection maps points in three-dimensions onto a two-dimensional plane. As graphics are usually displayed on two-dimensional media such as paper and computer monitors, these projections are widely used, especially in engineering drawing, drafting, and computer graphics.
In astronomy, a planisphere is a star chart analog computing instrument in the form of two adjustable disks that rotate on a common pivot. It can be adjusted to display the visible stars for any time and date. It is an instrument to assist in learning how to recognize stars and constellations. The astrolabe, an instrument that has its origins in Hellenistic astronomy, is a predecessor of the modern planisphere. The term planisphere contrasts with armillary sphere, where the celestial sphere is represented by a three-dimensional framework of rings.
A vanishing point is a point on the image plane of a perspective drawing where the two-dimensional perspective projections of mutually parallel lines in three-dimensional space appear to converge. When the set of parallel lines is perpendicular to a picture plane, the construction is known as one-point perspective, and their vanishing point corresponds to the oculus, or "eye point", from which the image should be viewed for correct perspective geometry. Traditional linear drawings use objects with one to three sets of parallels, defining one to three vanishing points.
The use of orthographic projection in cartography dates back to antiquity. Like the stereographic projection and gnomonic projection, orthographic projection is a perspective projection, in which the sphere is projected onto a tangent plane or secant plane. The point of perspective for the orthographic projection is at infinite distance. It depicts a hemisphere of the globe as it appears from outer space, where the horizon is a great circle. The shapes and areas are distorted, particularly near the edges.
The azimuthal equidistant projection is an azimuthal map projection. It has the useful properties that all points on the map are at proportionally correct distances from the center point, and that all points on the map are at the correct azimuth (direction) from the center point. A useful application for this type of projection is a polar projection which shows all meridians as straight, with distances from the pole represented correctly. The flag of the United Nations contains an example of a polar azimuthal equidistant projection.
A gnomonic map projection displays all great circles as straight lines, resulting in any straight line segment on a gnomonic map showing a geodesic, the shortest route between the segment's two endpoints. This is achieved by casting surface points of the sphere onto a tangent plane, each landing where a ray from the center of the sphere passes through the point on the surface and then on to the plane. No distortion occurs at the tangent point, but distortion increases rapidly away from it. Less than half of the sphere can be projected onto a finite map. Consequently, a rectilinear photographic lens, which is based on the gnomonic principle, cannot image more than 180 degrees.
The scale of a map is the ratio of a distance on the map to the corresponding distance on the ground. This simple concept is complicated by the curvature of the Earth's surface, which forces scale to vary across a map. Because of this variation, the concept of scale becomes meaningful in two distinct ways.
The oblique Mercator map projection is an adaptation of the standard Mercator projection. The oblique version is sometimes used in national mapping systems. When paired with a suitable geodetic datum, the oblique Mercator delivers high accuracy in zones less than a few degrees in arbitary directional extent.
Image stitching or photo stitching is the process of combining multiple photographic images with overlapping fields of view to produce a segmented panorama or high-resolution image. Commonly performed through the use of computer software, most approaches to image stitching require nearly exact overlaps between images and identical exposures to produce seamless results, although some stitching algorithms actually benefit from differently exposed images by doing high-dynamic-range imaging in regions of overlap. Some digital cameras can stitch their photos internally.
The Lambert azimuthal equal-area projection is a particular mapping from a sphere to a disk. It accurately represents area in all regions of the sphere, but it does not accurately represent angles. It is named for the Swiss mathematician Johann Heinrich Lambert, who announced it in 1772. "Zenithal" being synonymous with "azimuthal", the projection is also known as the Lambert zenithal equal-area projection.
In mathematics, a projection is a mapping of a set into a subset, which is equal to its square for mapping composition. The restriction to a subspace of a projection is also called a projection, even if the idempotence property is lost. An everyday example of a projection is the casting of shadows onto a plane. The projection of a point is its shadow on the paper sheet. The shadow of a point on the paper sheet is this point itself (idempotency). The shadow of a three-dimensional sphere is a closed disk. Originally, the notion of projection was introduced in Euclidean geometry to denote the projection of the Euclidean space of three dimensions onto a plane in it, like the shadow example. The two main projections of this kind are:
Perspective control is a procedure for composing or editing photographs to better conform with the commonly accepted distortions in constructed perspective. The control would:
The stereographic projection, also known as the planisphere projection or the azimuthal conformal projection, is a conformal map projection whose use dates back to antiquity. Like the orthographic projection and gnomonic projection, the stereographic projection is an azimuthal projection, and when on a sphere, also a perspective projection.