Document Type


Publication Date



We have written a Java applet to illustrate the meaning of curved geometry. The applet provides a mapping interface similar to MapQuest or Google Maps; features include the ability to navigate through a space and place permanent point objects and/or shapes at arbitrary positions. The underlying two-dimensional space has a constant, positive curvature, which causes the apparent paths and shapes of the objects in the map to appear distorted in ways that change as you view them from different relative angles and distances.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Licensed to Smith College and distributed CC-BY under the Smith College Faculty Open Access Policy.


Peer reviewed accepted manuscript.

For related tutorial, "CurvedLand: An Applet to Simulate Curved Space" click on url:



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.