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The Fuller (Dymaxion) Projection

Air-Ocean World

Unique Features of The Fuller Projection:

  • A map of the Earth which presents geographic information in a single, comprehensive picture without breaks in any of the continental contours, or any visible distortion of the relative shapes or sizes of the land masses.

  • A world projection with negligible distortion which can accurately display at a glance global information such as human migration patterns and the distribution of natural resources.

Dymaxion Map

A New Perception of Earth

World maps are symbolic tools which help to shape our perception of Earth. Every world map projection must make certain compromises as information is transferred from a spherical globe to a flat surface. With this in mind, as early as 1927 Buckminster Fuller, an educator, engineer, architect, author, cartographer and futurist, set out to develop the world's most accurate 2-dimensional world map.

He wanted to provide a view of the whole Earth at once which would have the ability to reveal major trends in world affairs and show the shortest air routes between land masses. Fuller predicted even then that global travel would shift from the sea to the sky and anticipated the emergence of what he termed 'a OneTown Air-Ocean World.'

Designing for Accuracy

Using the some mathematical principles on which his world famous geodesic domes were to be based, Fuller carefully designed a way to display the world all at once, with the least amount of visual distortion. Throughout the next 26 years he refined his world projection through many successive versions in order to reach the highest level of accuracy.

In 1954 Fuller called his final icosahedral projection the 'Dymaxion Air-Ocean World.' (The term 'Dymaxion' was coined in the 1930's from Fuller's most commonly used words: dynamic, maximum and tension.)

In 1980, an even more elegant and accurate Dymaxion Map was developed by Fuller associates Rob Grip and Christopher Kitrick, by using computer-generated algorithms for latitude and longitude information. Now a brand new edition of Fuller's remarkable map, 'The Fuller Projection' has been designed and updated by the Buckminster Fuller Institute using the distinguished cartographic services of R.R. Donnelley & Sons.

A Tool for Global Responsibility

With our increasing global awareness, a world map is needed which enables us to highlight the relationships among all nations and cultures of the world rather than one which emphasizes artificial boundaries between them. Environmental concerns are becoming a central focus of our international agenda. Therefore, we must learn to see what unites us rather than what separates us, and to chart global resources, population and distribution patterns which characterize the complex trends and critical needs of the world today.

In Fuller's own words, 'the Dymaxion Map reveals a One-World Island in a One-World Ocean' which helps us to view the world as one interdependent system of relationships.

Dymaxion = Dynamic + Maximum + Tension = 'Doing More With Less'

The word Dymaxion and the Dymaxion Map™ design are trademarks of the Buckminster Fuller Institute.
The map is also copyrighted by the Buckminster Fuller Institute, 1938, 1967, 1980 & 1992.

The Fuller Projection — Frequently Asked Questions

Dymaxion Map
View Global Energy Grid (102 K)

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