How can you make good flat maps of the round earth?' Our story begins with Mercator's world map of 1569, the first angle-preserving (or 'conformal') world map. His idea fell on fruitful soil, from which a new branch of mathematics has developed. The movie shows some of the highlights of this development, yielding a series of elegant visual forms which arise as 'conformal maps' on a variety of surfaces in 2- and 3-D. Featuring non-technical language, a simple aesthetic, compelling animation, and an original score, the movie builds an accessible bridge from everyday experience to a beautiful but little-known mathematical theory that continues to bear technological fruit today in fields such as computer graphics and architecture.

Runtime: 16 min

Watch full movie on YouTube


A movie by
Alexander Bobenko and Charles Gunn

Concept and Theory
Alexander Bobenko, Boris Springborn

Conformal Software Development
Stefan Sechelmann

Additional Conformal Software
André Heydt

Design, Animation, Rendering, Video
Charles Gunn

Luis Vera

Charles Gunn (English)
Kai Heller (German)
Pascal Romon (French)
Giulio Rasi (Italian)
Alexander Bobenko (Russian)

Sound Editor
Helene Seidl

Open Source Software

Mercator map photos courtesy of
F. Wilhelm Krücken

CG/Architectural images
Peter Schröder
Thilo Rörig, Stefan Sechelmann

DFG - Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
SFB/TRR 109 Discretization in Geometry and Dynamics
Research Center Matheon



conform! DVD Cover

The film is being published and distributed on DVD by Springer within their Springer VideoMATH series and it is now available for purchase.

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Winner of Berlin Short Film Festival 2015