Gall (Gall Stereographic)

The Gall stereographic projection, presented by James Gall in 1855, is a cylindrical projection. It is neither equal-area nor conformal but instead tries to balance the distortion inherent in any projection.


Transverse and oblique cylindrical

Available forms

Forward and inverse, Spherical

Defined area






Input type

Geodetic coordinates

Output type

Projected coordinates

Gall (Gall Stereographic)

proj-string: +proj=gall


The need for a world map which avoids some of the scale exaggeration of the Mercator projection has led to some commonly used cylindrical modifications, as well as to other modifications which are not cylindrical. The earliest common cylindrical example was developed by James Gall of Edinburgh about 1855 (Gall, 1885, p. 119-123). His meridians are equally spaced, but the parallels are spaced at increasing intervals away from the Equator. The parallels of latitude are actually projected onto a cylinder wrapped about the sphere, but cutting it at lats. 45° N. and S., the point of perspective being a point on the Equator opposite the meridian being projected. It is used in several British atlases, but seldom in the United States. The Gall projection is neither conformal nor equal-area, but has a blend of various features. Unlike the Mercator, the Gall shows the poles as lines running across the top and bottom of the map.


The Gall projection must not be confused with the Gall-Peters one, the later being a specialization of Equal Area Cylindrical.

Example using Gall Stereographic

$ echo 9 51 | proj +proj=gall
708432.90   5193386.36

Example using Gall Stereographic (Central meridian 90°W)

$ echo 9 51 | proj +proj=gall +lon_0=90w
7792761.91  5193386.36



All parameters for the projection are optional.


Central meridian/longitude of natural origin, longitude of origin or longitude of false origin (naming and meaning depend on the projection method).

Defaults to 0.0.


The default convention is to interpret this value as decimal degrees. To specify radians instead, follow the value with the "r" character.

Example: +lon_0=1.570796r

See Projection Units for more information.


Radius of the sphere, given in meters. If used in conjunction with +ellps, +R takes precedence.

See Ellipsoid size parameters for more information.


False easting, easting at false origin or easting at projection centre (naming and meaning depend on the projection method). Always in meters.

Defaults to 0.0.


False northing, northing at false origin or northing at projection centre (naming and meaning depend on the projection method). Always in meters.

Defaults to 0.0.


The name of a built-in ellipsoid definition.

See Ellipsoids for more information, or execute proj -le for a list of built-in ellipsoid names.

Defaults to "GRS80".

Mathematical definition

The formulas describing the Gall Stereographic are all taken from [Snyder1993].

Spherical form

Forward projection

\[x = \frac{\lambda}{\sqrt{2}}\]
\[y = (1+\frac{\sqrt{2}}{2}) \tan(\phi/2)\]

Inverse projection

\[\phi = 2 \arctan( \frac{y}{1+\frac{\sqrt{2}}{2}} )\]
\[\lambda = \sqrt{2} x\]

Further reading

  1. Wikipedia

  2. Cartographic Projection Procedures for the UNIX Environment-A User's Manual