A form of cartographic projection developed by Buckminster Fuller. The world is mapped onto the faces of an icosahedron. The orthogonal projection from the (near) sphere of the Earth to the equilateral triangle faces of the icosahedron is carefully chosen so that the faces may be cut apart and laid flat without separating any land masses from one another. It's hard to describe immediately, but this projection does emphasise that every landmass on the Earth is relatively close to at least one other landmass.

I'm all for the idea of using maps to promote world unity.   A Dymaxion "globe" is a wonderful thing to behold, and fun to assemble.  Every child should have one to play with.

Unfortunately,  The Dymaxion globe came about as an effect of Buckminster Fuller's self-promotion than out of any desire to promote a "post-racist, post-nationalist civilisation".

The Seal of the United Nations features a map of the entire world, showing no national boundaries, on an Azimuthal Equidistant projection.   If (the very real and very stupid) national jealousies preventing that organization from being an effective instrument of world unity were the reason Fuller couldn't sell his toy to the UN, perhaps the Great Seal would have national boundaries on it.

"With it, for the first time in history, humans can see their whole planet Earth's geography displayed on one flat surface without any visible distortion..."

Why didn't Fuller just hand out globes?

Oh well, if it has any effect driving a stake into the heart of nationalism, then wonderful.

For people who are interested in map projections, and polyhedral maps, you can visit the execellent site


The Dymaxion "projection" is really twenty separate instances of the Gnomonic Projection centered at strategic locations, then cut apart and assembled into an icosahedron.   It's also possible to use twenty instances of the Stereographic projection.

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