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"At any latitude and zoom level, you can determine the scale by using the following equation"

Map resolution = 156543.04 meters/pixel * cos(latitude) / (2 ^ zoomlevel)

is a quote from (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa940990.aspx)

Can anyone explain to me the relevance of the cos(latitude) part? I am having difficulties visualising this.

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    - ok so it´s simply the ratio used to calculate the length of the distance from 0° Longitude to the tangent of the sphere, thus giving the resolution at the given latitude. – Robert Buckley Mar 22 '14 at 7:40
  • How about adding that as an answer? – raykendo Mar 23 '14 at 3:20
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  • ok so COSINE is simply the ratio used to calculate the distance from 0° Longitude (i.e. the center of the shpere) to the tangent of the sphere at a given latitude. This site helped me understand the concept.

http://www.mathsisfun.com/sine-cosine-tangent.html

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