Michael Speth and i are in the process of fixing the PROJ.4 implementation of the HEALPix map projection (see http://trac.osgeo.org/proj/browser/trunk/proj/src/PJ_healpix.c for the current buggy implementation) and are running into some difficulties in the ellipsoidal case.

Here's the issue. We've implemented the spherical version of the HEALPix forward projection via

FORWARD(s_healpix_forward); /* sphere */
    return healpix_sphere(lp, P);

and that works fine. We now want to reuse healpix_sphere() in the ellipsoidal version of the HEALPix forward projection by simply replacing latitude lp.phi with authalic latitude and replacing the ellipsoid P with its authalic sphere. What's the best way to do this in PROJ.4?

We tried

FORWARD(e_healpix_forward); /* ellipsoid */
    lp.phi = auth_lat(lp.phi, P->e, 0);
    P->a = auth_radius(P->a, P->e);
    P->e = 0;
    return healpix_sphere(lp, P);

where auth_lat() and auth_radius() are our homemade authalic latitude and radius functions. But the numbers coming out aren't correct. We think that our attempt at changing P into its authalic sphere via the P->a and P->e assignments is failing. Any tips?

Michael also asked this question on the PROJ.4 forum (http://lists.maptools.org/pipermail/proj/2012-November/006465.html) last week but hasn't received a response.

Thanks for your attention.


Aha! I fixed the bug by setting P->a to authalic radius and P->ra to 1/P->a in the code below.

FORWARD(e_healpix_forward); // ellipsoid 
    lp.phi = auth_lat(P, lp.phi, 0);
    return healpix_sphere(lp);


ENTRY1(healpix, apa)
if (P->es) {
    P->apa = pj_authset(P->es); // For auth_lat().
    P->qp = pj_qsfn(1.0, P->e, P->one_es); // For auth_lat().
    P->a = P->a*sqrt(0.5*P->qp); // Set P->a to authalic radius.
    P->ra = 1.0/P->a;
    P->fwd = e_healpix_forward;
    P->inv = e_healpix_inverse; 
} else {
    P->fwd = s_healpix_forward;
    P->inv = s_healpix_inverse; 

The introduction of P->apa is an inessential optimization for the auth_lat function that i use and was inspired by the cylindrical equal area projection source code PJ_cea.c.

For the full fixed PJ_healpix.c source code, which will soon be submitted as a patch to PROJ.4 (along with supporting test outputs), see https://www.dropbox.com/s/ocgu80fvkknhdev/PJ_healpix.c.

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