The Globe display is a three-dimensional
view of geospatial data capable of mapping terrain relief or other
data for an entire planet viewed from space. Its underlying transformation
maps latitude, longitude, and elevation to a three-dimensional Cartesian
frame. All Mapping
Toolbox™ projections transform latitudes and
longitudes to map x- and y-coordinates.
globe function is special because it can
render relative relief of elevations above, below, or on a sphere.
In Earth-centered Cartesian (x,y,z)
coordinates, z is not an optional elevation;
rather, it is an axis in Cartesian three-space.
useful for geospatial applications that require three-dimensional
relationships between objects to be maintained, such as when one simulates
flybys, and/or views planets as they rotate.
The Globe display is based on a coordinate transformation, and is not a map projection. While it has none of the distortions inherent in planar projections, it is a three-dimensional model of a planet that cannot be displayed without distortion or in its entirety. That is, in order to render the globe in a figure window, either a perspective or orthographic transformation must be applied, both of which necessarily involve setting a viewpoint, hiding the back side and distortions of shape, scale, and angles.