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  • A gnomonic map projection displays all great circles as straight lines, resulting in any line segment on a gnomonic map showing the shortest route between the segment's two endpoints. This is achieved by casting surface points of the sphere onto a tangent plane, each landing where a ray from the center of the earth passes through the point on the surface and then on to the plane. No distortion occurs at the tangent point, but distortion increases rapidly away from it. Less than half of the sphere can be projected onto a finite map. Consequently a rectilinear photographic lens cannot image more than 180 degrees. Wikipedia

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