The Plane, the Sphere, and the Ellipsoid

Hi Folks,

We all know that the sphere isn’t the plane, and that an ellipsoid is different as well, but I don’t know if everyone has given so much thought to the practical effects of these differences.

And so I thought it might be a nice idea to catalog some of the interesting things that change when we move from a flat to round model—and it also makes a nice new series for the blog.  My planned agenda is:

  1. Edges on the Ellipsoid aren’t Obvious
  2. The Sphere is Finite
  3. … So Orientation Matters on the Sphere…
  4. …And yet, Maybe not so Much
  5. Some Sensible Concepts Are Nonsense on the Sphere
  6. Bounding Boxes on the Sphere are Strange
  7. Funny Things Happen to Convex Polygons

I’ll keep this list up to date with links as they bake. 

As you can see, I get off easy on the first post: I wrote it some time ago.  I’ve also started to touch on the next few topics, but I think there’s more to say.  I’ll be scrounging some material from my PDC talk last year, but there should be some new goodies as well.