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MAP PROJECTION - Any system of representing the parallels and meridians on a plane surface.

- The mathematical transformation of the earths three-dimensional surface to create a flat map sheet. Representing the earths surface in two dimensions causes distortion in the shape, area, distance, or direction of the data. The different types of projection can be sorted like this: 1) Construction a) Direct These are constructed by straight lines going from a point through the surface of the planet and to the projection plane. The starting point can be located infinitely far away (orthographic), in the center of the planet (gnomonic) or on the surface of the earth, opposite the projected point (stereographic). b) Indirect These are constructed by applying geometrical laws or some mathematical principle. 2) Projection Plane a) Planar The projection plane is a plane surface tangenting the projected surface. b) Cylindrical The projection plane is a cylinder circumfering the planet, either tangenting or cutting. c) Conical The projection plane is a cone circumfering the planet, either tangenting or cutting. 3) Orientation of the projection plane a) Normal The main axis is parallel to the axis of the planet. b) Transversal The main axis is orthogonal to the axis of the planet c) Oblique The main axis does not line up with the polar axis of the globe. 4) The properties of the projection a) Length preserving (Equidistant) - maps preserve the distances between certain points. b) Area preserving (Equal area) - projections preserve the area of displayed features. c) Angle preserving (Azimuthal) - giving the directions or azimuths of all points on the map correctly. d) Shape preserving (Conformal) it preserve the local shape. In the projection plane azimuthal, cylindrical, and conical are conceptual created by projecting from one geometric shape (a sphere) onto another. Many projections are not related as easily to one of these three surfaces. Modified projections are altered versions of other projections. These modifications are made to reduce distortion, often by including additional standard lines or changing the distortion pattern. Pseudo projections have some of the characteristics of another class of projection.

Modified projections 1) Pseudocylindrical In equatorial aspect all parallels are straight horizontals; meridians are arbitrary curves, equally spaced along every parallel. 2) Pseudoconic In polar and equatorial aspect all parallels are circular arcs, while meridians are arbitrary curves.