Dymaxion Map

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    In the 1943 Buckminster Fuller developed a projection of the world on a cubo-octahedron, which he published in Life Magazine. He issued a revised version on an icosahedron in 1954. In 1980 his associates developed a more accurate representation using 20 equilateral triangles.
     “There are problems with projecting a spherical surface onto a plane. The zenithal projection preserves distances from the zenith at the expense of only being able to show half the world or less. Mercator's projection preserves shapes but distorts relative size. Peter's projection does the opposite. Gall's projection is a kind of compromise between the two. Hammer's projection preserves relative areas but the distortions at its edge are more extreme than with Gall's, and the latitude lines are not parallel.
     “There are also interrupted projections, like Mollweide's, which preserve parallel latitudes but forbid continuous planar depiction, as the term suggests. This means that sea and air routes cannot be clearly shown if land masses are left intact. The oblique Aitoff projection keeps areas equal and is uninterrupted, but land-masses at the map's edge seem unclear.
     “Fuller's projection is interrupted but provides for sectional rearrangement to emphasize differing geographical relationships. There is little distortion of shape or size, and it employs a geodesic grid reference. It also provides universal viewpoint: Earth's centre and the zenith are always perpendicularly below and above each point."


SCN 1289