Manufacturing of Globes

Traditionally, globes were manufactured by gluing a printed paper map onto a sphere, often made from wood. The most common type has long, thin strips of paper that narrow to a point at the poles, small disks cover over the inevitable irregularities at these points. The more strips there are, the less stretching and crumpling is required to make the paper map fit the sphere.

Modern globes are often made from thermoplastic. Flat, plastic disks are printed with a distorted map of one of the Earth’s Hemispheres. This is placed in machine which molds the disk into a hemispherical shape. The hemisphere is united with its opposite counterpart to form a complete globe.

A globe is usually mounted at a 23.5° angle on bearings. In addition to making it easy to use this mounting also represents the angle of the planet in relation to its sun and the and the spin of the planet. This makes it easy to visualize how days and seasons change.

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