Mercator projection

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A conformal projection of the cylindrical type. The equator is represented by a straight line true to scale; the geographic meridians are represented by parallel straight lines perpendicular to the line representing the equator; they are spaced according to their distance apart at the equator. The geographic parallels are represented by a second system of straight lines perpendicular to the family of lines representing the meridians, and therefore parallel with the equator. Conformality is achieved by mathematical analysis, the spacing of the parallels being increased with the increasing distance from the equator to conform with the expanding scale along the parallels resulting from the meridians being represented by parallel lines. Since rhumb lines appear as straight lines and directions can be measured directly, this projection is widely used in navigation.

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