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Flattening the Earth: Mathematical and historical aspects of Mercator projection

Wlodek Proskurowski — 2019

Antiquitates Mathematicae

When projecting the globe on a plane surface it is not possible to satisfy more than one of the following three criteria: conformity of angles, equidistance and equivalence of areas. Mercator's solution for the use in navigation was to use a cylindrical projection with increasing distances between parallels so that the rhumb lines became straight lines. We present the derivation of the meridional stretching in this projection that requires a unique stretching factor, conformal map that preserves...

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