# Conformal (Projection)

A conformal projection is a map projection that locally preserves angles and therefore the shapes of objects. Meridians and parallels intersect at right angles. Historically, the first projection was the Mercator, which was to be used for navigation. It thus respected the points followed by boats and the forms of the coastlines, and is a compliant projection, as is the Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM). Conformal projections have been widely used in military mapping to allow gunners to adjust their guns out of sight to the target. However, conformal projections distort the surfaces, which the Mercator projection is well known for, as it overstates the surface of the countries located in high latitudes. There is no projection which retains both the shapes and the surfaces. A projection that preserves surfaces is called equivalent. Google Maps, a mapping/navigation tool widely used on the Web, uses a similar projection to Mercator.

See: Coordinates (system), Equivalent (Projection), GIS Software

[French: Conforme (Projection)]