# Littrow projection

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The Littrow projection is a map projection developed by Joseph Johann von Littrow in 1833. It is the only conformal, retroazimuthal map projection. As a retroazimuthal projection, the Littrow shows directions, or azimuths, correctly from any point to the center of the map.

A map projection is a systematic transformation of the latitudes and longitudes of locations from the surface of a sphere or an ellipsoid into locations on a plane. Maps cannot be created without map projections. All map projections necessarily distort the surface in some fashion. 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. There is no limit to the number of possible map projections.

Joseph Johann von Littrow was an Austrian astronomer. In 1837, he was ennobled with the title Joseph Johann Edler von Littrow. He was the father of Karl Ludwig Edler von Littrow and the mentor of the mathematician Nikolai Brashman. His work took him to Russia for a time, which is where his son who succeeded him was born.

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Patrick Weir of the British Merchant Navy independently reinvented the projection in 1890, after which it began to see more frequent use as recognition of its retroazimuthal property spread. Maps based on the Littrow projection are sometimes referred to as Weir Azimuth diagrams. [1]

The projection transforms from latitude φ and longitude λ to map coordinates x and y via the following equations: [2]

{\displaystyle {\begin{aligned}x&=R{\frac {\sin \left(\lambda -\lambda _{0}\right)}{\cos \varphi }}\\y&=R\cos \left(\lambda -\lambda _{0}\right)\tan \varphi \end{aligned}}}

where R is the radius of the globe to be projected and λ0 is the longitude desired for the center point.

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The Mercator projection is a cylindrical map projection presented by the Flemish geographer and cartographer Gerardus Mercator in 1569. It became the standard map projection for navigation because of its unique property of representing any course of constant bearing as a straight segment. Such a course, known as a rhumb or, mathematically, a loxodrome, is preferred by navigators because the ship can sail in a constant compass direction to reach its destination, eliminating difficult and error-prone course corrections. Linear scale is constant on the Mercator in every direction around any point, thus preserving the angles and the shapes of small objects and fulfilling the conditions of a conformal map projection. As a side effect, the Mercator projection inflates the size of objects away from the equator. This inflation starts infinitesimally but accelerates with latitude to reach infinite at the poles. So, for example, landmasses such as Greenland and Antarctica appear far larger than they actually are relative to landmasses near the equator, such as Central Africa.

In navigation, a rhumb line, rhumb, or loxodrome is an arc crossing all meridians of longitude at the same angle, that is, a path with constant bearing as measured relative to true or magnetic north.

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 Craig retroazimuthal map projection was created by James Ireland Craig in 1909. It is a modified cylindrical projection. As a retroazimuthal projection, it preserves directions from everywhere to one location of interest that is configured during construction of the projection. The projection is sometimes known as the Mecca projection because Craig, who had worked in Egypt as a cartographer, created it to help Muslims find their qibla. In such maps, Mecca is the configurable location of interest.

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.

The Bonne projection is a pseudoconical equal-area map projection, sometimes called a dépôt de la guerre, modified Flamsteed, or a Sylvanus projection. Although named after Rigobert Bonne (1727–1795), the projection was in use prior to his birth, in 1511 by Sylvano, Honter in 1561, De l'Isle before 1700 and Coronelli in 1696. Both Sylvano and Honter’s usages were approximate, however, and it is not clear they intended to be the same projection.

The Albers equal-area conic projection, or Albers projection, is a conic, equal area map projection that uses two standard parallels. Although scale and shape are not preserved, distortion is minimal between the standard parallels.

The van der Grinten projection is a compromise map projection, which means that it is neither equal-area nor conformal. Unlike perspective projections, the van der Grinten projection is an arbitrary geometric construction on the plane. Van der Grinten projects the entire Earth into a circle. It largely preserves the familiar shapes of the Mercator projection while modestly reducing Mercator's distortion. Polar regions are subject to extreme distortion.

Space-oblique Mercator projection is a map projection.

The Winkel tripel projection, a modified azimuthal map projection of the world, is one of three projections proposed by German cartographer Oswald Winkel in 1921. The projection is the arithmetic mean of the equirectangular projection and the Aitoff projection: The name tripel refers to Winkel's goal of minimizing three kinds of distortion: area, direction, and distance.

The Aitoff projection is a modified azimuthal map projection proposed by David A. Aitoff in 1889. Based on the equatorial form of the azimuthal equidistant projection, Aitoff first halves longitudes, then projects according to the azimuthal equidistant, and then stretches the result horizontally into a 2:1 ellipse to compensate for having halved the longitudes. Expressed simply:

The Hammer projection is an equal-area map projection described by Ernst Hammer in 1892. Using the same 2:1 elliptical outer shape as the Mollweide projection, Hammer intended to reduce distortion in the regions of the outer meridians, where it is extreme in the Mollweide.

The Cassini projection is a map projection described by César-François Cassini de Thury in 1745. It is the transverse aspect of the equirectangular projection, in that the globe is first rotated so the central meridian becomes the "equator", and then the normal equirectangular projection is applied. Considering the earth as a sphere, the projection is composed of the operations:

In cartography, the cylindrical equal-area projection is a family of cylindrical, equal-area map projections.

The Eckert IV projection is an equal-area pseudocylindrical map projection. The length of the polar lines is half that of the equator, and lines of longitude are semiellipses, or portions of ellipses. It was first described by Max Eckert in 1906 as one of a series of three pairs of pseudocylindrical projections. In each pair, the meridians have the same shape, and the odd-numbered projection has equally spaced parallels, whereas the even-numbered projection has parallels spaced to preserve area. The pair to Eckert IV is the Eckert III projection.

The Hammer retroazimuthal projection is a modified azimuthal proposed by Ernst Hermann Heinrich Hammer in 1910. As a retroazimuthal projection, azimuths (directions) are correct from any point to the designated center point. Additionally, all distances from the center of the map are proportional to what they are on the globe. In whole-world presentation, the back and front hemispheres overlap, making the projection a non-injective function. The back hemisphere can be rotated 180° to avoid overlap, but in this case, any azimuths measured from the back hemisphere must be corrected.

The armadillo projection is a map projection used for world maps. It is neither conformal nor equal-area but instead affords a view evoking a perspective projection while showing most of the globe instead of the half or less that a perspective would. The projection was presented in 1943 by Erwin Raisz (1893–1968) as part of a series of "orthoapsidal" projections, which are perspectives of the globe projected onto various surfaces. This one in the series has the globe projected onto half a torus. Raisz singled it out and named it the "armadillo" projection.

The American polyconic map projection is a map projection used for maps of the United States and regions of the United States beginning early in the 19th century. It belongs to the polyconic projection class, which consists of map projections whose parallels are non-concentric circular arcs except for the equator, which is straight. Often the American polyconic is simply called the polyconic projection.

The rectangular polyconic projection is a map projection was first mentioned in 1853 by the U.S. Coast Survey, where it was developed and used for portions of the U.S. exceeding about one square degree. It belongs to the polyconic projection class, which consists of map projections whose parallels are non-concentric circular arcs except for the equator, which is straight. Sometimes the rectangular polyconic is called the War Office projection due to its use by the British War Office for topographic maps. It is not used much these days, with practically all military grid systems having moved onto conformal projection systems, typically modeled on the transverse Mercator projection.

The Nicolosi globular projection is a map projection invented about the year 1,000 by the Iranian polymath al-Biruni. As a circular representation of a hemisphere, it is called globular because it evokes a globe. It can only display one hemisphere at a time and so normally appears as a "double hemispheric" presentation in world maps. The projection came into use in the Western world starting in 1660, reaching its most common use in the 19th century. As a "compromise" projection, it preserves no particular properties, instead giving a balance of distortions.

## References

1. Snyder, John P. (1993). Flattening the Earth: 2000 Years of Map Projections. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 135.
2. Snyder, John P.; Voxland, Philip M. (1989). An Album of Map Projections. Professional Paper 1453. Denver: USGS. p. 231. ISBN   978-0160033681 . Retrieved 2014-09-27.