# The Polar Azimuthal Equidistant Map is NOT the Flat Earth Map

The azimuthal equidistant map is a projection of spherical Earth on a two-dimensional medium. The map has distortions, like every other type of map.

Flat-Earthers stole the shape of the azimuthal equidistant map and call it the “flat-Earth map.” While the two are identical in shape, they have different characteristics. The map that they call the “flat Earth map” is claimed to be a scaled-down representation of the supposed flat earth. They claim it to be distortion-free.

Some institutions use the azimuthal equidistant map & flat-Earthers incorrectly claim it as an “endorsement” of flat Earth. These maps are azimuthal equidistant maps and not related to flat Earth.

An azimuthal equidistant map centered on the north pole is used for various purposes. It is used by the United Nations, USGS, or the US military. Because it looks identical to what they call the “flat-Earth map,” flat-Earthers often think that the usage of the map indicates an endorsement of the flat Earth model. They claim the fact as a “recognition” from various International bodies that the Earth is flat. In reality, the polar azimuthal equidistant map is not the flat-Earth map. They both only look identical in shape, but they are fundamentally very different.

Like every other map, the azimuthal equidistant map is simply a projection of the actual figure of the Earth. It has distortions. A straight line does not always represent the shortest route between two points on the map. The shortest route is determined by calculating the great-circle distance on the spherical figure of the Earth.

The usage of an azimuthal equidistant map is not exceptional. It does not signify that International bodies are subconsciously endorsing flat Earth. The azimuthal equidistant map is used because of its suitability for the task at hand, not because the Earth is flat.