# Two-point equidistant projection

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The two-point equidistant projection is a map projection first described by Hans Maurer in 1919. It is a generalization of the much simpler azimuthal equidistant projection. In this two-point form, two locus points are chosen by the mapmaker to configure the projection. Distances from the two loci to any other point on the map are correct: that is, they scale to the distances of the same points on the sphere.

The projection has been used for all maps of the Asian continent by the National Geographic Society atlases since 1959, [1] though its purpose in that case was to reduce distortion throughout Asia rather than to measure from the two loci. [2] The projection sometimes appears in maps of air routes. The Chamberlin trimetric projection is a logical extension of the two-point idea to three points, but the three-point case only yields a sort of minimum error for distances from the three loci, rather than yielding correct distances. Tobler extended this idea to arbitrarily large number of loci by using automated root-mean-square minimization techniques rather than using closed-form formulae. [3]

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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 it is unique in representing north as up and south as down everywhere while preserving local directions and shapes. The map is thereby conformal. 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.

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.

A geographic coordinate system (GCS) is a coordinate system associated with positions on Earth. A GCS can give positions:

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. The study of map projections is the characterization of the 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, 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.

In geometry, a locus is a set of all points, whose location satisfies or is determined by one or more specified conditions.

A world map is a map of most or all of the surface of Earth. World maps, because of their scale, must deal with the problem of projection. Maps rendered in two dimensions by necessity distort the display of the three-dimensional surface of the earth. While this is true of any map, these distortions reach extremes in a world map. Many techniques have been developed to present world maps which address diverse technical and aesthetic goals.

In geometry, focuses or foci, singular focus, are special points with reference to which any of a variety of curves is constructed. For example, one or two foci can be used in defining conic sections, the four types of which are the circle, ellipse, parabola, and hyperbola. In addition, two foci are used to define the Cassini oval and the Cartesian oval, and more than two foci are used in defining an n-ellipse.

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 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.

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The earliest known world maps date to classical antiquity, the oldest examples of the 6th to 5th centuries BCE still based on the flat Earth paradigm. World maps assuming a spherical Earth first appear in the Hellenistic period. The developments of Greek geography during this time, notably by Eratosthenes and Posidonius culminated in the Roman era, with Ptolemy's world map, which would remain authoritative throughout the Middle Ages.

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.

The history of cartography traces the development of cartography, or mapmaking technology, in human history. Maps have been one of the most important human inventions for millennia, allowing humans to explain and navigate their way through the world. The earliest surviving maps include cave paintings and etchings on tusk and stone, followed by extensive maps produced by ancient Babylon, Greece and Rome, China, and India. In their most simple form maps are two dimensional constructs, however since the age of Classical Greece maps have also been projected onto a three-dimensional sphere known as a globe. The Mercator Projection, developed by Flemish geographer Gerardus Mercator, was widely used as the standard two-dimensional projection of the earth for world maps until the late 20th century, when more accurate projections were formulated. Mercator was also the first to use and popularise the concept of the atlas as a collection of maps.

The Chamberlin trimetric projection is a map projection where three points are fixed on the globe and the points on the sphere are mapped onto a plane by triangulation. It was developed in 1946 by Wellman Chamberlin for the National Geographic Society. Chamberlin was chief cartographer for the Society from 1964 to 1971. The projection's principal feature is that it compromises between distortions of area, direction, and distance. A Chamberlin trimetric map therefore gives an excellent overall sense of the region being mapped. Many National Geographic Society maps of single continents use this projection.

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

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 Mercator world map of 1569 is titled Nova et Aucta Orbis Terrae Descriptio ad Usum Navigantium Emendate Accommodata. The title shows that Gerardus Mercator aimed to present contemporary knowledge of the geography of the world and at the same time 'correct' the chart to be more useful to sailors. This 'correction', whereby constant bearing sailing courses on the sphere are mapped to straight lines on the plane map, characterizes the Mercator projection. While the map's geography has been superseded by modern knowledge, its projection proved to be one of the most significant advances in the history of cartography, inspiring map historian Nordenskiöld to write "The master of Rupelmonde stands unsurpassed in the history of cartography since the time of Ptolemy." The projection heralded a new era in the evolution of navigation maps and charts and it is still their basis.

In cartography, the loximuthal projection is a map projection introduced by Karl Siemon in 1935, and independently in 1966 by Waldo R. Tobler, who named it. It is characterized by the fact that loxodromes from one chosen central point are shown straight lines, correct in azimuth from the center, and are "true to scale" in the sense that distances measured along such lines are proportional to lengths of the corresponding rhumb lines on the surface of the earth. It is neither an equal-area projection nor conformal.

## References

1. Snyder, J.P. (1993). Flattening the Earth: 2,000 years of map projections. pp. 234–235. ISBN   0226767469.
2. "Portrait of Earth's largest continent", National Geographic Magazine, vol. 116 no. 6, p. 751, 1959
3. Tobler, Waldo (April 1986). "Measuring the Similarity of Map Projections". Cartography and Geographic Information Science. 13 (2): 135–139. doi:10.1559/152304086783900103 via Researchgate.