Unlike the "classic" orthographic, stereographic and gnomonic designs, azimuthal projections like the equidistant and equal-area were derived mathematically without a real perspective process. Both can map a full sphere, with an "inner" hemisphere surrounded by a ringlike "outer" one. However, for lesser overall distortion the latter may be presented in a separate map centered on the antipodal point.
|North polar and equatorial aspects of azimuthal equidistant projection|
In the north polar aspect, the azimuthal equidistant is familiar
as part of both flag and emblem of the United Nations
Organization, with olive branches replacing Antarctica. The
austral continent, here turned "inside-out", illustrates this
projection's extreme distortion of shapes and areas far from the
Simple in construction, this projection is sometimes clipped to a single hemisphere, or even restricted to insets for polar caps.
|Azimuthal equal-area maps|
|North polar aspect||Equatorial aspect, central meridian 5°E|
|Western hemisphere, central meridian 110°W||Eastern hemisphere, central meridian 70°E|
Like the superficially similar azimuthal equidistant, the azimuthal projection published by Johann H. Lambert in 1772 strongly distorts shapes in the boundary of a worldwide map. However, the radial scale is not constant: in the polar aspect, parallels get closer together towards the border, just enough to preserve areas.
Relatively simple in construction, this projection is frequently used in all aspects.
The polar aspect of Lambert's azimuthal projection was independently devised by Anton-Mario Lorgna (1789), and during a short period named after him.