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Rhumb Lines and Map WarsA Social History of the Mercator Projection$
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Mark Monmonier

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780226534312

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226534329.001.0001

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Chapter:
(p.111) 8 On Track
Source:
Rhumb Lines and Map Wars
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226534329.003.0008

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.

Keywords:   Oblique customization, Civilian mapping scientists, Snyder, customized map projections, self-confidence

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