American Globes Guide

Seeing The World On Your Globe

People have been slow to accept the concept of a spherical world, yet the ancient Greeks knew the Earth was round. The Greek historian Strabo wrote of a world globe ten feet in diameter made by Crates of Mallus and exhibited in 150 B.C. Thus, for centuries, men have known the shape of Earth, but most visualized it only as the small, flat area that embraced their everyday lives.

Today, however, we live in a global community, and the globe has become the map of our modern world. And exploration in outer space with manned and unmanned satellites has brought home graphically the roundness of our Earth and its place in the universe.

One of the basic uses of your world globe is to find places – cities, nations, land and water areas – just as easily as you can find the busiest street corner in your home town. Finding a place is not enough, however, unless you see it in its true geographical relationship to the rest of the world or, in other words, see those countries which are its neighbors and the true distances and directions between them.

The question “Where is it?” is answered best by using a globe, for only on a globe are distances, directions, sizes and shapes of countries, and their relationship to each other – all correct! Seeing the true geographical relationships of all nations on this round replica of our world increases our understanding of their economic, social and political status, as well as their interdependence. It has been said that wider use of the world globe among all peoples of Earth could be a powerful instrument for peace.

Your globe will dispel any misconceptions about distances and directions obtained from studying flat maps. Looking straight down at the north pole, you see that ours is largely a northern world. Many great nations form a circle around the pole – Japan, China, Russia, the Scandinavian countries, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States. Today, the Arctic has become a busy intersection for planes following the shortest routes between major cities of the world.

Not only is your world globe a true guide to our modern world; its usefulness extends to many other areas of learning. It illuminates the pages of history, makes events in today’s world more significant, and enriches our understanding of the sciences, including the exciting new sciences of inner and outer space.



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Finding Places On Your Globe

Although a world globe is round, with no beginning or end, there are two main reference lines from which all distances and locations are calculated. One is the equator, running east and west around the middle of the globe, dividing it into two equal halves. The other is the prime meridian, an imaginary line running from pole to pole and cutting through Greenwich, a section of London, England. Both of these lines are 0º and the globe numbering system starts at the point where they intersect.

All lines running east and west, parallel to the equator, are called latitude lines. They are sometimes referred to as parallels because they are parallel to each other. Latitude lines are shown at 15º intervals north and south of the equator. Look at New Orleans on your globe and you will find it located at 30º. Since it is north of the equator, we say it is 30º north latitude, or 30N.

The lines running north and south from pole to pole are called longitude lines, sometimes referred to as meridians. Longitude lines are numbered along the equator on your globe at 15º intervals east and west of the prime meridian at Greenwich. Again using New Orleans as an example, we find it located at 90º or 90º west of 0º longitude. Thus, New Orleans is located at 30N latitude and 90W longitude.

Remember, latitude lines go from 0º at the equator to 90º at the poles. Longitude lines go from 0º at the prime meridian to 180º, a point on the exact opposite side of the globe. In giving a position, latitude is always stated first.

Lines of latitude and longitude appear on your globe only at certain intervals; otherwise, they would cover up all other map detail.



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