Previous studies demonstrated substantial variability of the location of primary visual cortex (V1) in stereotaxic coordinates when linear volume-based registration is used to match volumetric image intensities [Amunts, K., Malikovic, A., Mohlberg, H., Schormann, T., and Zilles, K. (2000). Brodmann's areas 17 and 18 brought into stereotaxic space-where and how variable? Neuroimage, 11(1):66-84]. However, other qualitative reports of V1 location [Smith, G. (1904). The morphology of the occipital region of the cerebral hemisphere in man and the apes. Anatomischer Anzeiger, 24:436-451; Stensaas, S.S., Eddington, D.K., and Dobelle, W.H. (1974). The topography and variability of the primary visual cortex in man. J Neurosurg, 40(6):747-755; Rademacher, J., Caviness, V.S., Steinmetz, H., and Galaburda, A.M. (1993). Topographical variation of the human primary cortices: implications for neuroimaging, brain mapping, and neurobiology. Cereb Cortex, 3(4):313-329] suggested a consistent relationship between V1 and the surrounding cortical folds. Here, the relationship between folds and the location of V1 is quantified using surface-based analysis to generate a probabilistic atlas of human V1. High-resolution (about 200 microm) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at 7 T of ex vivo human cerebral hemispheres allowed identification of the full area via the stria of Gennari: a myeloarchitectonic feature specific to V1. Separate, whole-brain scans were acquired using MRI at 1.5 T to allow segmentation and mesh reconstruction of the cortical gray matter. For each individual, V1 was manually identified in the high-resolution volume and projected onto the cortical surface. Surface-based intersubject registration [Fischl, B., Sereno, M.I., Tootell, R.B., and Dale, A.M. (1999b). High-resolution intersubject averaging and a coordinate system for the cortical surface. Hum Brain Mapp, 8(4):272-84] was performed to align the primary cortical folds of individual hemispheres to those of a reference template representing the average folding pattern. An atlas of V1 location was constructed by computing the probability of V1 inclusion for each cortical location in the template space. This probabilistic atlas of V1 exhibits low prediction error compared to previous V1 probabilistic atlases built in volumetric coordinates. The increased predictability observed under surface-based registration suggests that the location of V1 is more accurately predicted by the cortical folds than by the shape of the brain embedded in the volume of the skull. In addition, the high quality of this atlas provides direct evidence that surface-based intersubject registration methods are superior to volume-based methods at superimposing functional areas of cortex and therefore are better suited to support multisubject averaging for functional imaging experiments targeting the cerebral cortex.