A SphMap is a Mapping which transforms points from a 3-dimensional Cartesian coordinate system into a 2-dimensional spherical coordinate system (longitude and latitude on a unit sphere centred at the origin). It works by regarding the input coordinates as position vectors and finding their intersection with the sphere surface. The inverse transformation always produces points which are a unit distance from the origin (i.e. unit vectors).
AST A Library for Handling World Coordinate Systems in Astronomy