Fuller's terrestrial stock-taking involved an innovation in cartography. His Dymaxion Map minimized the distortions inherent in traditional maps (see Kline, 1972, p.170). Its significance is discussed in "Fluid Geography" (Reader, p.133), and in Robertson (pp.19-23). The Dymaxion Map is a direct derivation from Fuller's energetic geometry, Synergetics.
To produce the map, we have in effect to reverse the procedure for the geometrical construction of the geodesic dome. A spherical icosahedron's 20 triangular faces are subtriangulated by a 3-way great-circle grid. The resultant configuration is transferred onto a regular (non-spherical) icosahedron.
When the surface of the icosahedron is split, opened up and flattened out, the plane-triangular faces can be arranged so as to emphasize different geographical relationships between continents or between oceans. (The original version of the map is a projection onto a vector equilibrium instead of an icosahedron.)
The arrangement of the Map which puts the North Pole at the centre represents what Fuller calls the Airocean World. According to him, the trend of this world is towards an entirely airborne technology. The very perceptibility of world patterning, aided by the Map, contributes to the intellectual-technological integration of resources.
"Democratic mastery of the whole pattern by all the people is inherent and inevitable."
(Dymaxion World, p.159)
THE FULLER MAP
© Paul Taylor 2001