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First off, sorry if this is in the wrong forum. I came across this while studying computer vision, but it's of a somewhat mathematical nature. Please move it if it's in the wrong place.

In the book I'm reading*, stereographic projection is used to generate a reflectance map of an illuminated surface. A similar approach can be found here: http://books.google.com/books?id=XEOsAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA117&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=0_0#PPA154,M1 (that link should get you to page 154 of a book called "Computer Vision" by Michael Brady and H. G. Barrow)

My problem is this: the stereograpic projection is put forward for a sphere, then (apparently) generalised to more general surfaces. However this generalisation isn't made explicit. What is it? Am I missing something really simple?EDIT:From further reading, I've come across the Gaussian sphere, which seems to play a role here...but the details are still a little hazy to me.

Many thanks in advance!

*"Artificial Intelligence" 2 ed. by Patrick Henry Wilson, picked up at a local charity shop for £2.99 :-)

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# Stereographic Projection for general surfaces

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