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Which of the following statements describes the appearance of a great circle route on a Direct Mercator chart? A great circle route from (50°N, 120°W) to (50°N, 130°W) will be a...
  • A
    Rhumb line.
  • B
    Straight line.
  • C
    Curve concave to the nearest pole.
  • D
    Curve concave to the equator.

Refer to figure.
The Mercator projection is a cylindrical map projection.It became the standard map projection for navigation because of its unique property of representing any course of constant bearing as a straight segment.

Mercator projection inflates the size of objects away from the equator.This inflation starts infinitesimally, but accelerates with latitude to become infinite at the poles. So, for example, landmasses such as Greenland and Antarctica appear far larger than they actually are relative to landmasses near the equator, such as Central Africa.

Rhumb lines in Mercator projection is straight lines, however great circles are curved lines concave to the equator.

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