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- [map projections] A geometric transformation of the earth's spherical or ellipsoidal surface onto a flat map surface—also known as a developable surface. A projection generally requires a systematic mathematical transformation of the earth's graticule of lines of longitude and latitude onto a plane. Every map projection distorts distance, area, shape, direction, or some combination thereof.
- [map projections] The conversion of a spherical surface (a globe) to a flat map surface using one of many mathematical models.