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Famous World Globes Around the Globe

Lets get straight to the most important one! The largest geographical globe in the world is the Unisphere in Queens, New York City, U.S.A. It has a whopping 36.6 metre diameter and it displays the world map. The Unisphere is a 12-story high, spherical stainless steel representation of the Earth. Located in Flushing Meadows – Corona Park in the borough of Queens, New York City, the Unisphere is one of the borough's most iconic and enduring symbols.

The Unisphere Globe

The largest rotating globe is also found in the U.S.A at the DeLorme Headquarters in Yarmouth, Maine. This globe named Eartha has a 12 metre diameter.

The Eartha Globe

Unveiled July 23, 1998 Eartha took two years to build and represents earth as it is seen from space. It rotates and revolves on a specially designed and built mechanized, cantilever arm.

The Official Measurements

The official measurements of Eartha were made for Guinness by several independent and licensed surveyors who found the Globe to measure 41 feet, one and one-half inches, slightly less than the rounded figure of 42 feet that was projected by DeLorme staff members. Still, 41' 1.5" was more than enough to surpass the former record-holder, the Globe of Peace in Apeccio, Pesaro, Italy (which is 33 feet in diameter and does not revolve or rotate).

An Engineering Accomplishment

Every aspect of Eartha was developed using computer technology. It was designed by founder David DeLorme. and constructed by DeLorme staff members. “The building of Eartha was a tremendous challenge for all of us," says DeLorme. "It will help us make even better maps and will help others envision how we on earth are all connected.”

The Data.

The mapping data, which took over a year to compile, is completely unique. It is a special composite database built from satellite imagery, shaded relief, colored bathymetry (ocean depth data) and information from terrestrial sources, such as road networks and urban areas. The printed Eartha database is equivalent to about 140 gigabytes (or 214 CD-ROMs), making it one of the largest in the world! Its scale is 1:1,000,000, which works out to be one inch equaling nearly 16 miles. At this scale, California is three and a half feet tall!

The Infrastructure.

Eartha's "skeleton" is the Omni-Span™ Truss structure - a DeLorme-developed system of over 6,000 pieces of lightweight aluminum tubing. The "skin" is constructed of over 792 map sections, printed on special materials and mounted on lightweight panels. Those panels are then affixed to the structure with a unique bolt system. Each panel spans 8° latitude by 10° longitude.

The Mechanism.

Eartha tilts at 23.5 degrees, just as the earth does. It revolves on a specially designed cantilever arm and rotates on an axis. This action is powered by two electric-powered motors, which are commanded by a computer. One combined Eartha revolution and rotation occurs every minute at maximum speed.

There are three more famous globes found in the U.S.A. There's the Mapparium - a three-storey, stained glass globe with a 9.1 metre glass bridge running through the centre to allow visitors an amazing experience. This globe is found at he Mary Baker Eddy Library in Boston.

The Mapparium Globe

Since 1935, more than 10 million people have traversed the thirty-foot glass bridge that spans the Mapparium, taking visitors to a unique spot: the middle of the world. This world-famous, three-story, stained-glass globe is one of the key attractions at the Library. The Mapparium’s three-dimensional perspective of the world of 1935 is enhanced by A World of Ideas, an original presentation that features a rich orchestration of words, music, and LED lights to illustrate how ideas have traversed time and geography and changed the world.

The Babson globe in Wellesley, Massachusetts is another large one with a 7.9 metre diameter and weighs 25 tonnes!. The Babson originally rotated on its axis and base to display day and night and also the seasons.

There's also a giant globe in the lobby of The News Building in New York City. It has a 12 feet diamter, it revolves and its illuminated, lovely!

Elsewhere in the world, famous globes adorn conference centres, tourist information places, memorials and museums.