top of page


A globe is a detailed miniature model of the earth, a careful scale copy of the planet we inhabit. To see the whole world as it really is, we must look at a globe; it is the only map that reveals the actual dimensions and shapes of all lands and seas, the true distances and the actual geographic relationships. IMMENSUM IN PARVO (the immense in small) is the motto of the old manufacturers of terrestrial globes, and in general of all reproduction of celestial bodies.

Although the globes are the most frequent, there are representations of the sun, the moon and the planets, and some of them fictional. Most of the globes present political information, which makes it possible to know exactly the date on which they were built based on the borders and names of the countries represented. There are also globes with economic, physical or topographic information, and some of them representing the mountainous reliefs and ocean bottoms.

Most modern globes include parallels and meridians, so that a location can be located on the planet's surface. They are usually mounted on an angle that represents the equinoctial inclination (23.5 degrees), that is, the difference between the axis of the earth and that of the sun, which explains the existence of the different seasons.

Most anglo-saxon globes also include the annalema, the curve that describes the sun observed from the same point and at the same time, 365 days a year.

Many globes are also usually surrounded by a meridian or semimeridian arc with the corresponding graduation, which allows the measurement of latitude; others also with a wooden or metallic horizon that relates the months of the year with the signs of the zodiac, and in any case a scale printed on the equator that informs us of the longitude of a specific point. In this way, the coordinates of any place on the earth's surface can be known.

Also with a terrestrial globe distances between two points can be measured, for this the distance between them will be taken with a thread through the great circle and the number of degrees corresponding to when stretching the thread through the scale of the equator will be obtained. Multiplying by 128 will obtain the number of kilometers, since one degree is equivalent to 128 km in reality, regardless of the size of the globe.

* * *
bottom of page