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- [map projections] A projection that preserves the correct shapes of small areas. In a conformal projection, graticule lines intersect at 90-degree angles, and at any point on the map the scale is the same in all directions. A conformal projection maintains all angles at each point, including those between the intersections of arcs; therefore, the size of areas enclosed by many arcs may be greatly distorted. No map projection can preserve the shapes of larger regions.