The use of orthographic projection in cartography dates back to antiquity. Like the stereographic projection and gnomonic projection, orthographic projection is a perspective (or azimuthal) 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 orthographic projection has been known since antiquity, with its cartographic uses being well documented. Hipparchus used the projection in the 2nd century B.C. to determine the places of star-rise and star-set. In about 14 B.C., Roman engineer Marcus Vitruvius Pollio used the projection to construct sundials and to compute sun positions.
Vitruvius also seems to have devised the term orthographic (from the Greek orthos (= “straight”) and graphē (= “drawing”)) for the projection. However, the name analemma , which also meant a sundial showing latitude and longitude, was the common name until François d'Aguilon of Antwerp promoted its present name in 1613.
The earliest surviving maps on the projection appear as woodcut drawings of terrestrial globes of 1509 (anonymous), 1533 and 1551 (Johannes Schöner), and 1524 and 1551 (Apian). These were crude. A highly refined map designed by Renaissance polymath Albrecht Dürer and executed by Johannes Stabius appeared in 1515.
Photographs of the Earth and other planets from spacecraft have inspired renewed interest in the orthographic projection in astronomy and planetary science.
The formulas for the spherical orthographic projection are derived using trigonometry. They are written in terms of longitude (λ) and latitude (φ) on the sphere. Define the radius of the sphere R and the center point (and origin) of the projection (λ0, φ0). The equations for the orthographic projection onto the (x, y) tangent plane reduce to the following:
Latitudes beyond the range of the map should be clipped by calculating the distance c from the center of the orthographic projection. This ensures that points on the opposite hemisphere are not plotted:
The point should be clipped from the map if cos(c) is negative.
The inverse formulas are given by:
For computation of the inverse formulas the use of the two-argument atan2 form of the inverse tangent function (as opposed to atan) is recommended. This ensures that the sign of the orthographic projection as written is correct in all quadrants.
The inverse formulas are particularly useful when trying to project a variable defined on a (λ, φ) grid onto a rectilinear grid in (x, y). Direct application of the orthographic projection yields scattered points in (x, y), which creates problems for plotting and numerical integration. One solution is to start from the (x, y) projection plane and construct the image from the values defined in (λ, φ) by using the inverse formulas of the orthographic projection.
See References for an ellipsoidal version of the orthographic map projection.
In a wide sense, all projections with the point of perspective at infinity (and therefore parallel projecting lines) are considered as orthographic, regardless of the surface onto which they are projected. These kinds of projections distort angles and areas close to the poles.[ clarification needed ]
An example of an orthographic projection onto a cylinder is the Lambert cylindrical equal-area projection.
A cylindrical coordinate system is a three-dimensional coordinate system that specifies point positions by the distance from a chosen reference axis, the direction from the axis relative to a chosen reference direction, and the distance from a chosen reference plane perpendicular to the axis. The latter distance is given as a positive or negative number depending on which side of the reference plane faces the point.
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 transverse Mercator map projection is an adaptation of the standard Mercator projection. The transverse version is widely used in national and international mapping systems around the world, including the UTM. When paired with a suitable geodetic datum, the transverse Mercator delivers high accuracy in zones less than a few degrees in east-west extent.
The Mollweide projection is an equal-area, pseudocylindrical map projection generally used for global maps of the world or night sky. It is also known as the Babinet projection, homalographic projection, homolographic projection, and elliptical projection. The projection trades accuracy of angle and shape for accuracy of proportions in area, and as such is used where that property is needed, such as maps depicting global distributions.
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 Bottomley map projection is an equal area map projection defined as:
In cartography, a Tissot's indicatrix is a mathematical contrivance presented by French mathematician Nicolas Auguste Tissot in 1859 and 1871 in order to characterize local distortions due to map projection. It is the geometry that results from projecting a circle of infinitesimal radius from a curved geometric model, such as a globe, onto a map. Tissot proved that the resulting diagram is an ellipse whose axes indicate the two principal directions along which scale is maximal and minimal at that point on the map.
A Lambert conformal conic projection (LCC) is a conic map projection used for aeronautical charts, portions of the State Plane Coordinate System, and many national and regional mapping systems. It is one of seven projections introduced by Johann Heinrich Lambert in his 1772 publication Anmerkungen und Zusätze zur Entwerfung der Land- und Himmelscharten.
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 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 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.
The Strebe 1995 projection, Strebe projection, Strebe lenticular equal-area projection, or Strebe equal-area polyconic projection is an equal-area map projection presented by Daniel "daan" Strebe in 1994. Strebe designed the projection to keep all areas proportionally correct in size; to push as much of the inevitable distortion as feasible away from the continental masses and into the Pacific Ocean; to keep a familiar equatorial orientation; and to do all this without slicing up the map.
The Eckert-Greifendorff projection is an equal-area map projection described by Max Eckert-Greifendorff in 1935. Unlike his previous six projections, It is not pseudocylindrical.
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