E = Eartha

Where would Rhe be without her Garmin Persephone, who leads her all over the place? The map industry is changing dramatically with all of the GPS apps available, and globes that used to decorate so many classrooms and libraries have gone out of style. Maybe because it’s hard to keep up with all the changes in names and numbers of the world’s countries? So it’s nice to see that the World’s Largest Rotating Globe (so designated by the Guinness Book of World Records in 1999) still spinning after ten years, in the lobby of a Maine-based family-owned mapping company. The company is DeLorme, and it has evolved into a software company. Creating Eartha, a 41 foot diameter globe has made this company a sight-seeing stop.

Trip Advisor, Barbara B
Trip Advisor, Barbara B


Eartha is a 3-dimensional scale model of our earth with mountains and landforms in full 3D, which rotates and revolves simulating the earth’s real movements. Unveiled July 23, 1998 Eartha took two years to build and represents earth as it is seen from space. Every aspect of Earth was developed using computer technology. It was designed by founder David DeLorme and constructed by DeLorme staff members.

The mapping database took over a year to compile and is equivalent to about 140 gigabytes(for all you techies). It was derived from satellite imagery, shaded relief, colored bathymetry (ocean depth data) and information from terrestrial sources, such as road networks and urban areas. Every continent is beautifully detailed, with vivid colors illustrating all levels of vegetation, major roadways and cities, and ocean depths.

EARTHA3Its scale is 1:1,000,000, which works out to be one inch equaling nearly 16 miles. Eartha’s “skeleton” is a structure made of 6,000 pieces of lightweight aluminum tubing, with “skin” constructed of over 792 map sections, printed on special materials and mounted on lightweight panels. The panels were then affixed to the structure with a unique bolt system. She took two years to build and would have been completed more quickly, but halfway through her assembly DeLorme noticed a slight flaw. Eartha was torn down and reconstructed properly.

EARTHA 1The fabulous Eartha is housed in a three-story glass atrium at the company’s headquarters in Yarmouth, Maine.



36 thoughts on “E = Eartha”

  1. Wow! That globe reminds me of an iconic scene in “Crocodile Dundee” where someone pulls a knife out on Mick Dundee and he pulls out this huge sword like thing and says: “you call that a knife?!!” That globe is incredible!!
    I still have a child’s fascination for globes but recently took ours back to the op shop as it was quite out of date. Need to move on a fair bit of stuff but would like to update it.
    Hope you had a fabulous Easter. Ours became my E. I was intending to keep it really breif but couldn’t resist adding links to Easter customs around the world.
    xx Rowena

  2. This is another fabulous post supporting your theme for the #Challenge. I am going to share this with FB friends who I know will LOVE this information. My thanks to Rhe who is taking me interesting places in Maine….oh, and to the creator of this blog, who gets a blue ribbon.

  3. Your character, Rhe, knows just the right tool to use. I love her. I’ve heard of Eartha before, but didn’t realize how detailed it was. Great post once again, Noelle.

    1. This has been a fun week, yes? But we have a lot of letters to go. I hope I can keep up the interest in my posts. Yours are so thoughtful and so well tied to your book!

  4. That’s both amazing and beautiful at once. I can just imagine what it must be like to be in the same room as Eartha. Though, knowing me I’d want to climb all over it with a magnifying glass, because inside I’m 6 years-old. 😛

    N J Magas, author

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