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.
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.
Its 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.