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Arty and Educational Globes

Updated on December 28, 2015

Globes: Hold the Whole World In Your Hand

Terrestrial globes are designed to be a to-scale representation of the world presenting without the geographic distortion of two-dimensional maps.

According to Webster's English Dictionary, the word globe comes from the Latin root word globus, which means round like a ball of yarn.

However, the idea of the is much, much older. Read on to learn about the whole story.

The History of the Terrestrial Globe

Read About the Erdapfel at

In order to create a round globe, we first had to believe that the world was indeed round.

The Greek were one of the first civilizations to use spherical depictions of the world although many cultures believed the earth was flat for centuries after the Greek's discovery.

Pythagoras and Aristotle were among the first to popularize the image of the world as a spherical globe nearly 3,000 to 6,000 years before Christ.

One of the first globes that we know of through formal documentation was built by a Greek-speaking philosopher in Anatolia or modern-day Turkey.

The oldest existing terrestrial globe was created in Nuremberg, Germany by Martin Behaim in the 1400s. This early depiction known as the "Erdapfel" literally the potato or earth apple does not yet depict the Americans, which was waiting discovery. This historic globe is on display at the German National Museum in Nuremberg.

Today, globes are still one of the most practical way to accurate display the earth's geography. Most educational globes depict the earth at 1/40 millionth of its actual size.

Funny Globe Facts

The world's largest globe known as the Unisphere is located in a world's fair park constructed in Flushing Queens. This massive structure measures 120 feet in diameter.

In France this noted 18th century globe-maker and cartographer Robert de Vaugondy decorated a pair of 18-inch globes that included handcrafted wood based covered in gold.

Map making and globe making have been inextricably linked. In fact, most publishers specialized in both maps and the most luxurious and expensive globe. The Christian Science Plaza in Boston, which is maintained by the Christian Science Monitor, is home to the Mary Baker Eddy library and museum and the exquisite Mapparium, a stained glass globe built in 1935. Unlike other globes, this unique feature is designed to be viewed from the inside.

Reproductions of famous globes like the Erdapfel are still available and many of them are quite old and desirable in their own right.

Knowledge, Power and Globes

Globe production took off toward the end of the middle ages and Spanish and Portuguese explorers discovered new parts of the world's geography. Before WWII, many globes were handcrafted by artisan craftspeople.

Because globes were costly and difficult to produce nobility and kings were among the few who could afford these esteem possessions. Back in the day, owning a global meant access to knowledge, power and an understanding known terrain.

Globes were considered important status symbols for centuries. Although modern globes are mas produced, they are no less popular today. Globes are a must-have accessory for any student and household.

Traditional Student Globes

Replogle Explorer World Blue Ocean Globe, Desktop, 12" diameter, Up-to-Date Cartography, Raised Relief, Educational, perfect for Students of all ages
Replogle Explorer World Blue Ocean Globe, Desktop, 12" diameter, Up-to-Date Cartography, Raised Relief, Educational, perfect for Students of all ages
Did you ever play that game where you spin the globe, close your eye and point until the globe stops! In my opinion, a globe is the ultimate accessory for students. It's a great way to inspire kids, get them thinking about different cultures and learn more about geography.

Boston's Stained Glass Globe - The Mapparium

Learning With School Globes

Globes are a great way to encourage learning and inspire children to learn more about geography, world cultures and different countries.

One of my favorite globe games is to simply spin the globe, close your eye and point your finger until the globe stops. Traditionally, children will say, "Round and round it goes. Where it stops nobody knows."

To turn a game into a learning opportunity, you and a child and take turns point to places and then challenge the other person to name the capital or an important city in that country. You can also inspire your children to learn more about the place they landed on by searching online or in an encyclopedia, or even cooking a local specialty.

Discover More About Globes Online

Do you love globes? - Share Your Comments

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    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 

      7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Interesting lens! Thanks for sharing!

    • efriedman profile image


      9 years ago

      With online maps, some people are losing touch with globes. Good that you bring them to attention

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Since I love to travel I love globes and maps very much

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Beautiful globes :D Gives the phrase "You've got the whole world in your hands" a new meaning.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      "Hold the world in your hand", I love that...congratulations on front page honors!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      How is the earth gonna be at 24 century i really woul like to read a good about 2020

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Yes! I love globes! Great lens.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Love this lens! Thanks as I really like Globes. Every home should have one!

    • jadehorseshoe profile image


      9 years ago

      Great Lens!!

    • TeacherSerenia profile image


      9 years ago

      I nominated this lens for a Purple star - and HQ agreed. Congratulations on the purple Star!!!!

    • dbametrix lm profile image

      dbametrix lm 

      9 years ago

      Wonderful globs. Thanks for sharing.

    • TeacherSerenia profile image


      9 years ago

      I love maps and globes. This is a wonderful lens. That Boston Stained Glass Mapparium is gorgeous.


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