Traces the history of mapmaking and representation of the globe on two-dimensional surfaces. Considers early problems of distortion in map projection, and reviews the projections of Mercator, Mollweide, and Goode. Uses animation to emphasize the concept of present-day map-making as influenced by the development of modern air transportation and the subsequent shrinkage in time-distance values. Narrator states "the airplane forces us to think of world travel and transportation in terms of great circle routes." These routes run independently of land and water and mark the shortest distance between points on the surface of the earth. The film shows that advances in human culture and technology transform our mapmaking and conception of space and distance.