In geography, **latitude** is a geographic coordinate that specifies the north–south position of a point on the Earth's surface. Latitude is an angle which ranges from 0° at the Equator to 90° at the poles. Lines of constant latitude, or *parallels*, run east–west as circles parallel to the equator. Latitude is used together with longitude to specify the precise location of features on the surface of the Earth. On its own, the term latitude should be taken to be the *geodetic latitude* as defined below. Briefly, geodetic latitude at a point is the angle formed by the vector perpendicular to the ellipsoidal surface from that point, and the equatorial plane. Also defined are six *auxiliary latitudes* that are used in special applications.

The **Mercator projection** is a cylindrical map projection presented by 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 in marine navigation because ships can sail in a constant compass direction for long stretches, reducing the difficult, error-prone course corrections that otherwise would be needed frequently when sailing other kinds of courses. 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 is very small near the equator but accelerates with increasing latitude to become 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 mathematics, a **spherical coordinate system** is a coordinate system for three-dimensional space where the position of a point is specified by three numbers: the *radial distance* of that point from a fixed origin, its *polar angle* measured from a fixed zenith direction, and the *azimuthal angle* of its orthogonal projection on a reference plane that passes through the origin and is orthogonal to the zenith, measured from a fixed reference direction on that plane. It can be seen as the three-dimensional version of the polar coordinate system.

An **ellipsoid** is a surface that may be obtained from a sphere by deforming it by means of directional scalings, or more generally, of an affine transformation.

In the mathematical field of differential geometry, one definition of a **metric tensor** is a type of function which takes as input a pair of tangent vectors v and w at a point of a surface and produces a real number scalar *g*(*v*, *w*) in a way that generalizes many of the familiar properties of the dot product of vectors in Euclidean space. In the same way as a dot product, metric tensors are used to define the length of and angle between tangent vectors. Through integration, the metric tensor allows one to define and compute the length of curves on the manifold.

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 **great-circle distance** or **orthodromic distance** is the shortest distance between two points on the surface of a sphere, measured along the surface of the sphere. The distance between two points in Euclidean space is the length of a straight line between them, but on the sphere there are no straight lines. In spaces with curvature, straight lines are replaced by geodesics. Geodesics on the sphere are circles on the sphere whose centers coincide with the center of the sphere, and are called *great circles*.

In geodesy, **conversion** among different **geographic coordinate** systems is made necessary by the different geographic coordinate systems in use across the world and over time. Coordinate conversion is composed of a number of different types of conversion: format change of geographic coordinates, conversion of coordinate systems, or transformation to different geodetic datums. Geographic coordinate conversion has applications in cartography, surveying, navigation and geographic information systems.

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.

In mathematics, the **associated Legendre polynomials** are the canonical solutions of the **general Legendre equation**

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 Schwarzschild solution describes spacetime under the influence of a massive, non-rotating, spherically symmetric object. It is considered by some to be one of the simplest and most useful solutions to the Einstein field equations.

**Great-circle navigation** or **orthodromic navigation** is the practice of navigating a vessel along a great circle. Such routes yield the shortest distance between two points on the globe.

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 **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 general relativity, a point mass deflects a light ray with impact parameter by an angle approximately equal to

**Geographical distance** is the distance measured along the surface of the earth. The formulae in this article calculate distances between points which are defined by geographical coordinates in terms of latitude and longitude. This distance is an element in solving the second (inverse) geodetic problem.

The **equidistant conic projection** is a conic map projection commonly used for maps of small countries as well as for larger regions such as the continental United States that are elongated east-to-west.

The article Transverse Mercator projection restricts itself to general features of the projection. This article describes in detail one of the (two) implementations developed by Louis Krüger in 1912; that expressed as a power series in the longitude difference from the central meridian. These series were recalculated by Lee in 1946, by Redfearn in 1948, and by Thomas in 1952. They are often referred to as the Redfearn series, or the Thomas series. This implementation is of great importance since it is widely used in the U.S. State Plane Coordinate System, in national and also international mapping systems, including the Universal Transverse Mercator coordinate system (UTM). They are also incorporated into the Geotrans coordinate converter made available by the United States National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. When paired with a suitable geodetic datum, the series deliver high accuracy in zones less than a few degrees in east-west extent.

The study of **geodesics on an ellipsoid** arose in connection with geodesy specifically with the solution of triangulation networks. The figure of the Earth is well approximated by an *oblate ellipsoid*, a slightly flattened sphere. A *geodesic* is the shortest path between two points on a curved surface, analogous to a straight line on a plane surface. The solution of a triangulation network on an ellipsoid is therefore a set of exercises in spheroidal trigonometry.