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Suppose one had a dataset (centered on a given coordinate) of lines that were very close together in terms of longitude but also had important turns/bends far separated by latitude. In order to map this, I want to over-emphasize the x direction and de-emphasize the y-direction.

Can one do this by creating a projection in ArcMap? If so, how?

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Removed the gis tag; it's "meta" for this site: – JasonBirch Aug 13 '10 at 23:29
up vote 7 down vote accepted

(This is really a comment on the first answer but I don't have the rep to post comments.)

It's unlikely that any conformal projection would do the job: by definition they preserve shapes, whence they should not anisotropically distort distances. That rules out the Mercator.

Equal-area projections are a good bet: they all attain their equal-area property by means of differential scale distortions. A cylindrical equal-area would align those distortions along meridians and parallels. It would be worthwhile adjusting the parameters to see what can be achieved, especially around the boundary of the projection's domain.

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+1 for use of word "anisotropically". – mwalker Aug 19 '10 at 21:33

Sure, you could define a mercator projection with the central meridian on top of your dataset, and fiddle the standard parallels parameters

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Maybe transverse mercator if he's after expanding the x direction. – om_henners Jul 29 '10 at 23:44

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