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# Vertical Planet Camera

Because we all know the Aussies walk upside down
 (+8) [vote for, against]

Some digital cameras use an orientation sensor to rotate the image through 90 degrees if you hold them on their side for a portrait shot.

The Vertical Planet Camera uses a GPS receiver to rotate the image by the same amount as your latitude.

At the north pole the horizon will be flat. At the equator the horizon will be vertical. At the south pole the horizon will be flat again, but the image upside-down. In the UK the horizon will slope at an angle of 36 degrees.

This will probably be very useful for something.

[Edit: Improved, just to satisfy loonquawl. Sheesh.]

Imagine the planet is "vertical" and you are standing "beside" it at the equator, facing it. If you shoot east you will get a vertical horizon with the earth on the left. West will give up a vertical horizon and the earth on the right. If you shoot upwards you will get a horizontal horizon with earth at the bottom of the frame and downwards will give you a horizontal horizon with the earth at the top of the frame.

To achieve this we stick an electronic compass in the camera so that the camera knows which way it's shooting. When you shoot straight east or west the camera will behave as described above, but as you turn to the north or south, the horizon will be levelled out again.

That way you can take a photo any direction you like and the horizon will remain correct relative to the planet's vertical axis.

 — wagster, Jul 27 2009

Why is North always up? http://www.straight...-is-north-always-up
Quick answer: a convention started by Ptolemy [wagster, Jul 27 2009]

Upside down maps of the world. http://www.flourish.org/upsidedownmap/
[DrBob, Jul 27 2009]

Alternative Projections http://www.progonos...jConf/projConf.html
Mercator wasn't the only bloke who could draw maps. [DrBob, Jul 27 2009]

Map of the World using the correct colour scheme. http://upload.wikim..._British_Empire.png
So there! [DrBob, Jul 27 2009]

Canada's 1898 XMAS stamp [Gamma48, Jul 27 2009]

That's all well and good as long as you hold to the idea of the earth being spherical. But [+] nevertheless.
 — MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 27 2009

Could you remind me which way 'up' is, again?
 — Ian Tindale, Jul 27 2009

Eskimo up, penguin down.
 — wagster, Jul 27 2009

But a photograph taken at the equator in direction of one of the poles should only show either sky or ground, then...
 — loonquawl, Jul 27 2009

 It doesn't matter what direction you take the photo in - it will just rotate the image by your latitude. Admittedly this makes a great deal more sense when shooting east or west, but you will still be able to judge a location's latititude by the horizon.

 Oh alright then, let's do it properly.

 How's about this: imagine the planet is "vertical" and you are standing "beside" it at the equator, facing it. If you shoot east you will get a vertical horizon with the earth on the left. West will give up a vertical horizon and the earth on the right. If you shoot upwards you will get a horizontal horizon with earth at the bottom of the frame and downwards will give you a horizontal horizon (what's the opposite of an oxymoron?) with the earth at the top of the frame.

 To achieve this we stick a compass in the camera (I don't think GPS can do direction - or can it? It cost enough to make...) so that the camera knows which way it's shooting. When you shoot straight east or west the camera will behave as described above, but as you turn to the north or south, the horizon will be levelled out again.

That way you can take a photo any direction you like and the horizon will remain correct relative to the planet's vertical axis. You have to allow the camera to conceptually swing up and down relative to the vertical planet's horizontal plane, if you see what I mean, otherwise you will end up with photos of sky and ground as you point out.
 — wagster, Jul 27 2009

 //what's the opposite of an oxymoron?// a tautology.

Would you take into account the earth's axial tilt? So that winter pictures would be tilted differently from summer pictures, and so forth?
 — lurch, Jul 27 2009

 //Could you remind me which way 'up' is, again?//

It's this way ^
 — Jinbish, Jul 27 2009

//Would you take into account the earth's axial tilt?// - No, that would be a Vertical Solar System Camera. That would be silly.
 — wagster, Jul 27 2009

If you take a standard atlas kind of map of the world, and turn it upside down so that the north pole (you know, the top edge) is now the bottom edge (making the north pole exactly the same diameter as the equator - as before - but now it's the bottom of the page). Is that wrong in any way?
 — Ian Tindale, Jul 27 2009

 // which way up is //

 Ummm I guess it is down to me (and Jim) to begin the counter offensive. Its obvious, northern hemisphere is on the bottom since it is fat and heavy --- "down under" is on top...

 (c.f. the coldest bit that points away from the sun the most)

Jim reckons wagster has the tail waggin the dog here..

 // which way up is //

Antarctica is heavier than the arctic. The only possible explanation for Antarctica's position is gravity. Up must be north.
 — shudderprose, Jul 27 2009

 It's all Ptolemy's idea. Blame him (link).

 But no, there is no "right" way up for a map, neither is there a right projection or colour scheme. A map is merely a useful visual representation of something that exists. You can make a map out of a collage of dried pasta glued to your ceiling, if it is representative of something then it is a map.

I shall now await a halfbaker with a degree in cartography to come and rip me to shreds.
 — wagster, Jul 27 2009

//neither is there a right...colour scheme//

Have to dispute that, wags. The only proper map is one that is mostly coloured in good, British red.
 — DrBob, Jul 27 2009

Presumably computer monitors and digital photo frames will also be fitted with this system to apply a local correction to displayed images?
 — pocmloc, Jul 27 2009

//You can make a map out of a collage of dried pasta glued to your ceiling// - Damn! - There goes my pasta ceiling maps idea.
 — xenzag, Jul 27 2009

North is 'up' for the same reason clock hands move 'clockwise' - advanced civilisation began in the northern hemishere (mostly because there's more land up there).

//land// - sp: civilisation
 — wagster, Jul 28 2009

 Global warming calculations indicate that CO2 levels drop in the northern hemisphere summer --- because there is more plant life pointed at the sun.

 => more land mass in the northern hemisphere

 => bears down and penguins up

 ...

 Jim reckons that ice formation might change the planets centre of gravity and switch the poles

...