By N. Bowditch
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Extra info for American Practical Navigator
If the cylinder is tangent along some great circle other than the equator, the projected pattern of latitude and longitude lines appears quite different from that described above, since the line of tangency and the equator no longer coin- 305. Mercator Projection Navigators most often use the plane conformal projection known as the Mercator projection. The Mercator projection is not perspective, and its parallels can be derived mathematically as well as projected geometrically. Its distinguishing feature is that both the meridians and parallels are expanded at the same ratio with increased latitude.
Chart Classification By Scale Charts are constructed on many different scales, ranging from about 1:2,500 to 1:14,000,000. Small-scale charts covering large areas are used for route planning and for offshore navigation. Charts of larger scale, covering smaller areas, are used as the vessel approaches land. Several methods of classifying charts according to scale are used in various nations. The following classifications of nautical charts are used by the National Ocean Service. Sailing charts are the smallest scale charts used for planning, fixing position at sea, and for plotting the dead reckoning while proceeding on a long voyage.
However, as the area covered by the chart becomes smaller, the differences between various projections become less noticeable. On the largest scale chart, such as of a harbor, all projections are practically identical. Some desirable properties of a projection are: 301. Projections Because a cartographer cannot transfer a sphere to a flat surface without distortion, he must project the surface of a sphere onto a developable surface. A developable surface is one that can be flattened to form a plane.