Stereographic Projection

Stereographic Projection

The stereographic projection, in geometry, is a particular mapping that projects a sphere onto a plane. The projection is defined on the entire sphere, except at one point — the projection point. Intuitively, then, the stereographic projection is a way of picturing the sphere as the plane, with some inevitable compromises. Because the sphere and the plane appear in many areas of mathematics and its applications, so does the stereographic projection; it finds use in diverse fields including complex analysis, cartography, geology, and photography.

The projection has been used to map spherical panoramas. This results in interesting effects: the area close to the point opposite to the center of projection becomes significantly enlarged, resulting in an effect known as little planet (when the center of projection is the nadir) and tube (when the center of projection is the zenith).

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