A path, also known as a rhumb line, which cuts a meridian on a given surface at any constant angle but a right angle. If the surface is a sphere, the loxodrome is a spherical spiral. The loxodrome is the path taken when a compass is kept pointing in a constant direction. It is a straight line on a Mercator projection or a logarithmic spiral on a polar projection (Steinhaus 1999, pp. 218-219). The loxodrome is not the shortest distance between two points on a sphere.

See also

Great Circle, Sphere, Spherical Spiral

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Nord, J. "Mercator's Rhumb Lines: A Multivariable Application of Arclength." College Math. J. 27, 384-387, 1996.Steinhaus, H. Mathematical Snapshots, 3rd ed. New York: Dover, pp. 217-221, 1999.

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Cite this as:

Weisstein, Eric W. "Loxodrome." From MathWorld--A Wolfram Web Resource.

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