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Map projections and coordinate systems > Supported map projections


Release 9.3
Last modified October 21, 2008
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Also known as Sanson–Flamsteed—As a world map, this projection maintains equal area despite conformal distortion. Alternative formats reduce the distortion along outer meridians by interrupting the continuity of the projection over the oceans and by centering the continents around their own central meridians, or vice versa.

Illustration of the Sinusoidal projection

Projection method

A pseudo–cylindrical projection where all parallels and the central meridian are straight. The meridians are curves based on sine functions with the amplitudes increasing with the distance from the central meridian.

Linear graticules

All lines of latitude and the central meridian.



No distortion along the central meridian and the equator. Smaller regions using the interrupted form exhibit less distortion than the uninterrupted sinusoidal projection of the world.


Areas are represented accurately.


Local angles are correct along the central meridian and the equator but distorted elsewhere.


The scale along all parallels and the central meridian of the projection is accurate.


Distortion is reduced when used for a single land mass rather than the entire globe. This is especially true for regions near the equator.

Uses and applications

Used for world maps illustrating area characteristics, especially if interrupted.

Used for continental maps of South America, Africa, and occasionally other land masses, where each has its own central meridian.




NOTE: Supported on spheres only.

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