A topographic model for rhodopsin has been constructed based upon evaluation of rhodopsin's sequence by a secondary structure prediction algorithm as well as chemical and enzymatic modification of rhodopsin in the membrane [Hargrave et al. (1983) Biophys. Struct. Mech. 9, 235-244]. The non-uniform distribution of several amino acids in the primary structure and within the topographic model is discussed. The seven predicted helices were evaluated and each helix was found to have one surface which is much more hydrophobic than the other. Stereoscopic views of a three dimensional model with a functional color-coding scheme incorporating these features are presented. The amino acid sequence of rhodopsin has been compared to other proteins in the Dayhoff Protein Data Bank. No obvious relationship to any other protein sequenced was found. High resolution proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy was used to reinvestigate the structure and relative proportions of rhodopsin's major and minor oligosaccharide chains. One major (Man3GlcNAc3) and two minor (Man4GlcNAc3 and Man5GlcNAc3) were observed.