World globes are pretty amazing. They instantly add a touch of class to any office or room. Children are drawn to globes and even adults seem to be captivated by the information they can discover on a spinning globe. However, to really understand a globe it is important to know about these basic features of a globe. The following features can be found on most standard
- Latitude and Longitude Lines - These lines on a globe mark locations, and are the same measurements that are used in modern GPS. Starting at the equator the lines of latitude are horizontal, and starting at the Prime Meridian, lines of longitude move away vertically. As the lines intersect they create a grid around the globe. The equator is the horizontal line at the center of the globe that separates the North and South Hemisphere and it is marked as zero degrees latitude. The degrees increase from the equator up to 90 degrees North at the North Pole, the degrees also increase moving down from the equator to 90 degrees South at the South Pole. The Prime Meridian is the vertical center of the globe that separates the earth into the Eastern and Western Hemispheres. The Prime Meridian is measured as zero degrees longitude and the lines of longitude go up in measurement to 180 degrees East and 180 degrees West from this line.
- Time Zones - The time zones on a globe coordinate with the lines of longitude. These markings are usually found near the top or bottom of the globe. Some times these time zones are marked on a little gold dial at the very top of the globe called a "time dial."
- Raised Relief - Some globes show a little of the landscape with mountainous regions bumping out a little on the globe itself. The relief is not to scale at all, but just gives you an idea of where mountain ranges are located on the continents.
- Borders - National borders are marked on globes, even though these boundaries are political features and not geographic features. However, the borders of countries can change over time due to historic conflicts and political alliances. The borders, size, shape and name of countries are the features that change the most often on a globe, and these features are some of the simplest ways to date a globe.
- Tilt - Most globes are tilted at a 23.5 degree angle. This is the actual tilt of the earth when it is compared to the sun. Since the tilt of the earth is what determines the seasons in different countries, being able to view the earth with the correct tilt can illustrate which countries would be experiencing opposite seasons based on the amount of sunlight they are exposed to.
Knowing a little more about these basic features of globes will help you not only enjoy globes a little more, but they will also help you give accurate information to people who show interest in your globe. The next time a child spies your globe and instinctively starts spinning it as fast as they can, you can patiently tell them a little more about the globe and why it is interesting, increasing their appreciation for the globe as well as world geography, science, history and politics. Its presence in your home or office can inspire you to travel more, or to think more often of how connected we all are and the ways our decisions impact the global community at large.
If you are interested in a large selection of globes in every price range, please contact us. We offer illuminated globes, educational globes, decorative globes and even constellation and space globes, so you're sure to find exactly what you're looking for.