Figure of the Earth

The figure of the Earth can be represented, depending on the application, by an ellipsoid of revolution, a geoid or the surface of the Earth’s crust. All these forms show small deviations from the simple spherical form. However, these are too small to identify with the naked eye. The new interactive 3D model offered by the Swiss World Atlas (accessible via maps => test maps) allows to visualise these deviations from the sphere using state-of-the-art methods like superelevation, colour coding, and shading. The 3D and interactive representations enable the users to view them from any angle. The models are based on the Earth Gravitational Model 1984 (EGM84) and the CleanTOPO2 digital elevation model.