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Project data with a cylindrical, conic, or azimuthal projection

A map projection is a procedure that unwraps a sphere or ellipsoid to flatten it onto a plane. Usually this is done through an intermediate surface such as a cylinder or a cone, which is then unwrapped to lie flat. Consequently, map projections are classified as cylindrical, conical, and azimuthal (a direct transformation of the surface of part of a spheroid to a circle). All map projections introduce distortions compared to maps on globes. Distortions are inherent in flattening the sphere. Some classes of map projections maintain areas, and others preserve local shapes, distances, and directions. No projection, however, can preserve all these characteristics. Choosing a projection thus always requires compromising accuracy in some way, and that is one reason why so many different map projections have been developed. The Mapping toolbox supports dozens of map projections, which you principally control with the axesm function. These projections span equal-area, equidistant, conformal, and hybrid projections in the cylindrical, transverse cylindrical, conic, azimuthal, pseudocylindrical, and pseudoazimuthal classes.