An apparatus and method for mapping the cornea is described. The apparatus comprises a probe having a multiplicity of parallel pins bundled together which are reciprocally movable with respect to one another. The pins are maintained in parallel and slidable relationship with one another and, after the leading end of the pins is urged against the surface of the cornea so that the ends thereof form a surface mirroring the contour of the cornea, the pins may be locked together in fixed relationship. A detector is used to sense the relative position of the pins, the sensed positions are stored, and the stored values used to depict the contour of the cornea on a two-dimensional surface such as a display terminal or as hard copy on paper. A computer is used to obtain the data from the detecting means, to store the data, and, by means of an appropriate algorithm, to graphically generate the two-dimensional image. Most preferably, the pins are arranged in the form of straight radial lines forming concentric annular rings.