The World Stress Map Project is a global cooperative effort to compile and interpret data on the orientation and relative magnitudes of the contemporary in situ tectonic stress field in the Earth's lithosphere. Horizontal stress orientations show regionally uniform patterns throughout many continental intraplate regions. These regional intraplate stress fields are consistent over regions 1000-5000 km wide or ca. 100 times the thickness of the upper brittle part of the lithosphere (ca. 20 km) and about 10-15 times the thickness of typical continental lithosphere (ca. 150-200 km). Relative stress magnitudes or stress regimes in the lithosphere are inferred from direct in situ stress measurements and from the style of active faulting. The intraplate stress field in both the oceans and continents is largely compressional with one or both of the horizontal stresses greater than the vertical stress. The regionally uniform horizontal intraplate stress orientations are generally consistent with either relative or absolute plate motions indicating that plate-boundary forces dominate the stress distribution within the plates. Since most regions of normal faulting occur in areas of high elevation, the extensional stress regimes in these areas can be attributed to superimposed bouyancy forces related to crustal thickening and/or lithosphere thinning; stresses derived from these bouyancy forces locally exceed midplate compressional stresses. Evaluating the effect of viscous drag forces acting on the plates is difficult. Simple driving or resisting drag models (with shear tractions acting parallel or antiparallel to plate motion) are consistent with stress orientation data; however, the large lateral stress gradients across broad plates required to balance these tractions are not observed in the relative stress magnitude data. Current models of stresses due to whole mantle flow inferred from seismic tomography models (and with the inclusion of the effect of high density slabs) predict a general compressional stress state within continents but do not match the broad-scale horizontal stress orientations. The broad regionally uniform intraplate stress orientations are best correlated with compressional plate-boundary forces and the geometry of the plate boundaries.