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The equirectangular projection (also called the equidistant cylindrical projection or la carte parallélogrammatique projection), and which includes the special case of the plate carrée projection (also called the geographic projection, lat/lon projection, or plane chart), is a simple map projection attributed to Marinus of Tyre, who Ptolemy claims invented the projection about AD 100.[1] The projection maps meridians to vertical straight lines of constant spacing (for meridional intervals of constant spacing), and circles of latitude to horizontal straight lines of constant spacing (for constant intervals of parallels). The projection is neither equal area nor conformal. Because of the distortions introduced by this projection, it has little use in navigation or cadastral mapping and finds its main use in thematic mapping. In particular, the plate carrée has become a standard for global raster datasets, such as Celestia, NASA World Wind, the USGS Astrogeology Research Program, and Natural Earth, because of the particularly simple relationship between the position of an image pixel on the map and its corresponding geographic location on Earth or other spherical solar system bodies. In addition it is frequently used in panoramic photography to represent a spherical panoramic image.[2]

Equirectangular projection of the world; the standard parallel is the equator (plate carrée projection).
Equirectangular projection with Tissot's indicatrix of deformation and with the standard parallels lying on the equator
True-colour satellite image of Earth in equirectangular projection

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