‘Gravity and the figure of the Earth’ discusses the measurement of gravity and its variation at the Earth’s surface and with depth. Gravity is about 0.5 per cent stronger at the poles than at the equator and it first increases with depth until the core–mantle boundary and then sinks to zero at the Earth’s centre. Using satellites to carry out geodetic and gravimetric observations has revolutionized geodesy, creating a powerful geophysical tool for observing and measuring dynamic processes on the Earth. The various measurement techniques employed fall in two categories: precise location of a position on the Earth (such as GPS) and accurate determination of the geoid and gravitational field. Bouguer and free-air gravity anomalies and isostasy are explained.