A map projection in which a globe, as of the Earth, is assumed to rest on a flat surface onto which its features are projected. An azimuthal projection produces a circular map with a chosen point—the point on the globe that is tangent to the flat surface—at its center. When the central point is either of Earth's poles, parallels appear as concentric circles on the map and meridians as straight lines radiating from the center. Directions from the central point to any other point on the map are accurate, although distances and shapes in some azimuthal projections are distorted away from the center.
A map projection designed so that all azimuthal angles with a vertex at the central point are preserved, thus accurately showing the direction of travel, but not the distance, from the center point to any other point on the map.