In an effort to promote their mapping capabilities and to raise a better awareness of the world around us, innovative mapping company DeLorme created Eartha, a three-dimensional rotating model of our planet. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the 41.5 foot in diameter installation is officially the World’s Largest Rotating Globe. It took 2 years to build the structure, which was first revealed in 1998, and it is located in a 3-story glass atrium at the DeLorme headquarters in Yarmouth, Maine.
The framework of the piece is composed of 6,000 lightweight aluminum tubes that form the main structure, which is then covered with 792 map sections that were developed with computer technology over the course of a full year. The sections were printed on special materials and mounted on lightweight panels, each panel attached to the tubing with bolts. According to the DeLorme website, the piece is 1:1,000,000 in size, with each inch equaling nearly 16 miles. In just moments, visitors can circle the Earth and experience magnificent views that are similar to those from outer space.
Over the past 15 years, the printed Eartha map design began to fade and peel, so recently, FedEx Office proposed a facelift sponsored by their company. Using new printing technology, the company reproduced the panels using UV inks that were printed directly onto corrugated plastic, which will limit and prevent much of the peeling deterioration. The final product features meticulous details and vivid colors that give Eartha a fresh new look. DeLorme says, “Eartha will instill a sense of wonder in people when they first see it,” and they hope that it is a significant reminder of how connected we all are across the world.