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Map projections and coordinate systems > Supported map projections


Release 9.2
Last modified August 3, 2007
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The final version was described by Buckminster Fuller in 1954. For more information, refer to the Buckminster Fuller Institute Website at

Illustration of the Fuller projection

Projection method

This projection converts the globe into a 20-sided figure called an icosahedron. Each side is a geodesic triangle that is then flattened into a two-dimensional triangle. The facets of the icosahedron are unfolded in a specific manner to keep the land masses unbroken.

Lines of contact

The tangent lines are the facet edges.

Linear graticules

In general, neither latitude nor longitude lines are straight.



Distortion increases as the distance from the facet edges increases. Because the Fuller projection is comprised of 20 facets that are projected individually, overall shape distortion is low.


Distortion increases as the distance from the facet edges increases.


Generally directions are distorted, depending on the orientation of a facet. Angles within a facet are slightly distorted due to the flattening of the geodesic triangle.


The scale is correct along the facet edges.


The north direction is not upright. It is difficult to identify directions without a graticule on the map.

Uses and applications

Best used for display and educational uses.



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