Classification Miscellaneous
Available forms Forward and inverse, spherical and elliptical projection
Defined area Global
Alias healpix
Domain 2D
Input type Geodetic coordinates
Output type Projected coordinates

The HEALPix projection is area preserving and can be used with a spherical and ellipsoidal model. It was initially developed for mapping cosmic background microwave radiation. The image below is the graphical representation of the mapping and consists of eight isomorphic triangular interrupted map graticules. The north and south contains four in which straight meridians converge polewards to a point and unequally spaced horizontal parallels. HEALPix provides a mapping in which points of equal latitude and equally spaced longitude are mapped to points of equal latitude and equally spaced longitude with the module of the polar interruptions.


To run a forward HEALPix projection on a unit sphere model, use the following command:

proj +proj=healpix +lon_0=0 +a=1 -E <<EOF
0 0
# output
0 0 0.00 0.00



All parameters for the projection are optional.


Longitude of projection center.

Defaults to 0.0.


False easting.

Defaults to 0.0.


False northing.

Defaults to 0.0.


See proj -le for a list of available ellipsoids.

Defaults to “WGS84”.


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

Further reading

  1. NASA
  2. Wikipedia