Orthographic projection in cartography

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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. [1] [2]

History

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. [2]

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. [2]

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. [2]

Photographs of the Earth and other planets from spacecraft have inspired renewed interest in the orthographic projection in astronomy and planetary science.

Mathematics

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: [1]

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

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:

${\displaystyle \cos c=\sin \varphi _{0}\sin \varphi +\cos \varphi _{0}\cos \varphi \cos \left(\lambda -\lambda _{0}\right)\,}$.

The point should be clipped from the map if cos(c) is negative.

The inverse formulas are given by:

{\displaystyle {\begin{aligned}\varphi &=\arcsin \left(\cos c\sin \varphi _{0}+{\frac {y\sin c\cos \varphi _{0}}{\rho }}\right)\\\lambda &=\lambda _{0}+\arctan \left({\frac {x\sin c}{\rho \cos c\cos \varphi _{0}-y\sin c\sin \varphi _{0}}}\right)\end{aligned}}}

where

{\displaystyle {\begin{aligned}\rho &={\sqrt {x^{2}+y^{2}}}\\c&=\arcsin {\frac {\rho }{R}}\end{aligned}}}

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. [3]

Comparison of the Orthographic projection in cartography and some azimuthal projections centred on 90° N at the same scale, ordered by projection altitude in Earth radii. (click for detail)

Orthographic projections onto cylinders

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.

Related Research Articles

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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.

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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.

References

1. Snyder, J. P. (1987). Map Projections—A Working Manual (US Geologic Survey Professional Paper 1395). Washington, D.C.: US Government Printing Office. pp.  145–153.
2. Snyder, John P. (1993). Flattening the Earth: Two Thousand Years of Map Projections pp. 16–18. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press. ISBN   9780226767475.
3. Zinn, Noel (June 2011). "Ellipsoidal Orthographic Projection via ECEF and Topocentric (ENU)" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-11-11.