by Trey Thomas
The measure of greatness
Although pretty and precious, jeweled globes are not the pinnacle of globemaking. Instead, the highest achievement of the globemaker's art is found in the details, accuracy, and care employed in the making of a sturdy globe.
A globe that measures up
By this measure, Replogle, one of the world's most famous globemakers, has come up with "The World's Most Detailed Globe" yet seen, the Diplomat.
This 32-inch floor-standing globe has more than twenty thousand place names. In contrast, one of the biggest (around four feet across) enamel jeweled globes in the world, the Byzantine, only has five hundred place names (at $500,000.00, that's $1000.00 per place name—39 times more expensive than the Diplomat's $12,900.00 price).
At the huge end of the scale, the Guinness World Records holder of the title "World's Biggest Globe", the Eartha, at 41 feet in diameter, has no place names (to be fair, the Eartha is only a model of the world seen from space, not intended to be geographically informative or functional).
Like its idealized namesake, the Diplomat is elegant but tough as brass (its meridian is made of hand-engraved brass), polished but hard (its cradle mounting is made of mahogany hand-burnished to a smooth walnut finish), bright but stylish (touch the brass meridian, and the Diplomat will light up to reveal its ten-color cartography in all its glory).
A globe that keeps up with the times
No matter how up-to-date a globe is when first bought, the world's political climate and boundaries change. The Diplomat has been intended to keep up with recent world political changes by being updatable. Owners have the chance to update their Diplomat globes for half the retail price through the Updatable Globe Program by its manufacturing company, Replogle.Diplomacy is not for everybody but, for the discerning globe owner or institution, the depth of information and breadth of detail that comes with the Diplomat is important for accurate and authoritative geography. Elegance is but a byproduct of the attractive ideas that went into the Diplomat's making.