Based on the lack of response to similar queries by others on other websites, I'm guessing its not possible . However, just to cover my bases:

Is it possible to get a flat map (vs. a globe) back from the Render service?

I've seen how this is possible using the Projection property for the control, but cannot see how this can be done using the web service. There are worldwide data points, so just zooming-in doesn't solve the problem .