I'm trying to find information about the possibilities to map an arc (or a circle to be specific) as a straight line. Imagine a circle mapped onto a country or continent, that represents a path with a starting point 'A'. The circle has a small buffer. I'm trying to map this path into a straight line starting and ending with point 'A', so that I end up with, instead of a square map containing the circle, a very long (length of the path) and thin (height of the buffer) rectangle shaped map.

I figure that I will need to create a custom projection of some sort, and possibly splitting the circle into two or more arcs. But I have a hard time finding a grip on the subject, and think I might be overlooking a simple solution.

  • 1
    Two-point equidistant projection ends up with a straight line between the two defining point. Otherwise, I'm having trouble picturing your "circle". Is it literally a circle or two paths between points A and B?
    – mkennedy
    Nov 25, 2017 at 23:23
  • Thank you! Yes, two-point equidistant would work if the path was actually straight. However, the path is actually a circle, say, for example, the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. What I'm trying to do is map the Large Hadron Collider from Point 1 to Point 8 as if it's a straight line. Nov 26, 2017 at 8:02

1 Answer 1


An indirect way would be to project the data into an azimuthal projection, centered at your location.

Change its projected coordinate reference system by redefining/modifying it so the center is at a pole. Unproject to lat/lon or reproject to a cylindrical projection (not web Mercator).


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