Copyright © 2015 by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathmatics.We consider the problem of computing k shortest paths in a two-dimensional environment with polygonal obstacles, where the jth path, for 1 ≤ j ≤ k, is the shortest path in the free space that is also homotopically distinct from each of the first j-1 paths. In fact, we consider a more general problem: given a source point s, construct a partition of the free space, called the kth shortest path map (k-SPM), in which the homotopy of the kth shortest path in a region has the same structure. Our main combinatorial result establishes a tight bound of θ (k2h + kn) on the worst-case complexity of this map. We also describe an O ( (k3h + k2n) log (kn)) time algorithm for constructing the map. In fact, the algorithm constructs the jth map for every j ≤ k. Finally, we present a simple visibility-based algorithm for computing the k shortest paths between two fixed points. This algorithm runs in O (m log n + k) time and uses O (m + k) space, where to is the size of the visibility graph. This latter algorithm can be extended to compute k shortest simple (non-self-intersecting) paths, taking O (k2m (m + kn) log (fcn)) time. We invite the reader to play with our applet demonstrating fc-SPMs .