Hyperbolic geometry is the topic of the *That’s Maths* column in the* Irish Times* this week (TM031 or click *Irish Times* and search for “thatsmaths”).

**Living on a Sphere**

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. This is one of the basic principles of Euclidean geometry. But we live on a spherical Earth, and we cannot travel the straight line path from Dublin to New York: we have to stick to the surface of the globe, and the geometry we need is more complicated than the plane geometry of Euclid. Spherical geometry is central for the study of geophysics and astronomy, and vital for navigation.