I am trying to do some work that involves spatiotemporal latent surface modeling, but an issue that I am worried about is that calculating distance between two coordinates is quite a bit more complicated than just applying the Pythagorean theorem in the latitude and longitude coordinates.
I was wondering if there are any projections (especially for the US) where coordinates can be treated as position on a 2d surface in a way that preserves distances between coordinates? Or if this can't be done exactly, are there projections that almost satisfy this criteria?
I think the simplest way to put this is that I'd like to put my data in a coordinate projection system where 1 unit of shift in the X direction is comparable to 1 unit of shift in the Y direction in terms of distance. This is because I'd like to be able to make isotropic assumptions about smoothing across geography.
I'm using R and the
sf package with
GDAL on the backend in case any answers are software specific.