Oblique customization of the conformal cylindrical framework languished until 1920, when pioneering transcontinental flights called for thin maps, often with a decidedly diagonal slant. Civilian mapping scientists who foresaw wider possibilities for remote sensing were already contemplating mapping satellites with high-resolution imaging systems suitable for topographic mapping. In a 1978 article for Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing, Snyder offered a general description of the projection's geometry and development. Like most customized map projections devised in the late twentieth century, the Space Oblique Mercator projection is partly a consequence of electronic computing. Snyder's acknowledgments, at the end of his article, underscore the equally important role of camaraderie and self-confidence.
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