Bipolar oblique conformal conic


This projection was developed specifically for mapping North and South America. It maintains conformality. It is based on the Lambert conformal conic, using two oblique conic projections side by side.

Learn more about the Lambert conformal conic projection

Projection method

Two oblique cones are joined with the poles 104° apart. A great circle arc 104° long begins at 20° S and 110° W, cuts through Central America, and terminates at 45° N and approximately 19°59'36" W. The scale of the map is then increased by approximately 3.5 percent. The origin of the coordinates is 17°15' N, 73°02' W (Snyder 1993).

Lines of contact

The two oblique cones are each conceptually secant. These standard lines do not follow any single parallel or meridian.

Linear graticules

Only from each transformed pole to the nearest actual pole



Conformality is maintained except for a slight discrepancy at the juncture of the two conic projections.


Minimal distortion near the standard lines, increasing with distance


Local directions are accurate because of conformality.


True along standard lines.


The bipolar oblique conformal conic projection will display North America and South America only. If having problems, check all feature types (particularly annotation and tics) and remove any features that are beyond the range of the projection.

Uses and applications

Learn more about the transverse Mercator projection


Supported in ArcInfo Workstation only. Projection-specific parameters are set by the software.

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