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Frequently Asked Questions
Welcome to World Globe Universe’s Frequently Asked Questions…

Here you will find a collection of the common questions we have received from our customers. We have researched the answers and present them here for your review and use. Our experts have consulted with the world globe manufacturers, dictionaries, encyclopedias and other recognized resources in developing the answers listed below. We hope you will benefit from our efforts whether you are seeking to purchase a world globe or are simply looking to increase you knowledge and understanding.

In order to facilitate your ease of use, we have formatted the information in two distinct styles. Immediately below you will find an alphabetized index of the questions. Simply read down the list until you find the question you are interested in answering. Select the question and your computer will take you directly to the answer. When you are finished reading the answer you can select the link that will bring you back to the index.

The second method of exploring our questions and answers is to move directly to the question and answer section itself. The questions are organized according to how frequently they are asked by our customers. By simply reading the questions with their accompanying answers, you will likely find the answer to your current question. (You may even find some answers to questions you didn’t know you even had.)

Finally, if you find that we have not yet answered the question that is troubling you, please take a few moments to drop us an e-mail. We commit to research the question to the best of our ability and will add both the question and the answer to our list.


Indexed Questions

Can push pins be used in my press craft globe?
How do globe makers decide which place names are used on globes?
How do you clean a Gemstone Globe?
How do you clean a National Geographic® globe?
How do you clean a Replogle® globe?
How do you clean an Artline® globe?
How do you find a place on a globe?
How do you look up a place based on latitude and longitude?
How does the “Touch On” feature work on my Replogle® 20” or 32” illuminated globe?
How long does it take to update globes when the map information changes?
How many different maps are used in making world globes?
How often do globe manufacturers update their globe maps?
How old is my Replogle® globe and what is it worth?
I have an older Replogle® globe that has a lot of wear and tear. Can I get a replacement globe or stand?
My Replogle®globe ball won’t stay upright. What should I do?
What is a hemisphere?
What is a meridian?
What is a single versus a dual axis globe mount?
What is an armillary sphere?
What is latitude?
What is longitude?
What is Press Craft construction?
What is that little round dial at the North Pole?
What is the difference between the beige and blue colored globes?
What is the equator?
What is the International Date Line?
What is the prime meridian?
What is the purpose of a compass rose on a map?
What is the Updatable Globe Program?
What is Vinyl construction?
What stones are used on gemstone globes?
Where can you buy a replacement light bulb for a National Geographic® illuminated globe?
Where can you buy a replacement light bulb for a Replogle® illuminated globe?
Why a globe instead of an atlas?
Why are globes tilted?
Why do some globes have a ring or semi-ring around them?
Why do some world globes have bumps or textured surfaces?


Frequently Asked Questions


Why a globe instead of an atlas?
An atlas complements a globe and a globe complements an atlas. When used together, each has features that become excellent references and teaching tools. The advantage of a globe is that the world in its entirety is depicted on a sphere, showing land masses, countries and regions in true proportion. In addition, globes are an attractive decorative accessory for both home and office.
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What is the difference between the beige and blue colored globes?
Antique or beige colored globes are produced to resemble ancient parchment. This coloring provides an “Old World” appearance that is often preferred in home or office settings. The geographic information is up-to-date, with the sole purpose of the antique appearance being its esthetic appeal.
The blue globes have ocean areas in blue and usually consist of highly contrasting, colorful, political boundaries. Young people often prefer the realistic coloring of the oceans and are more engaged by the bright colors of these globes.
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Why are globes tilted?
Most globes are made to tilt at an angle of 23.5º along the axis of the north and south poles. This tilt matches the actual tilt of the earth in relationship to our sun. Incidentally, it is this tilting of the earth relative to the sun that causes the seasons to change and gives us more daylight hours at certain times of the year. The increased or decreased temperatures that go with the seasons are more a result of the “directness, intensity or amount” of sunlight, at a given location, rather than the changing distance between the earth and the sun.
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Why do some world globes have bumps or textured surfaces?
The bumps or textured surfaces on globes are called raised relief. Globes with raised relief better emphasize the mountainous areas of the world. They are there so you can see and feel the mountains. Being able to see and feel the Andes, Himalayas, or Rocky Mountains can give a better understanding of how geography can influence not only politics and culture, but natural phenomena, e.g. weather, as well. Due to scaling difficulties, the actual height of mountains on the globe does not have a direct relationship to the true relative heights of the mountain ranges. A small number of globes add indented relief in the ocean areas of the globe. This is used to emphasize the deep “valleys” found in some areas of the ocean floor. Raised relief is typically found on 9", 12" and 16" diameter non-illuminated press craft globes and on 12” and 16” vinyl globes. On smaller sized globes, it is difficult to maintain any degree of accuracy when incorporating raised relief features. On a very large diameter globes, i.e., 20" & 32", the method of manufacturing doesn’t lend itself to incorporating this feature.
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What is that little round dial at the North Pole?
The little round dial or disk located at the North Pole is called a time dial. It is used to help you compare the time differences around the world.
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Why do some globes have a ring or semi-ring around them?
Many globes have a ring, either full circle or half (semi) circle. These rings are called meridians and they are generally numbered in degrees from 0º at the equator to 90º at either pole. Originally, meridians were used to help locate positions on the globe, but since most modern globes have the longitude and latitude lines on the maps, the numbers on the meridian have become less important. The ring itself still serves to hold the globe ball in position. For further details see the question “What is a meridian?”
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What is the equator?
The equator is an imaginary line that runs around the middle of the earth in an east/west direction. It is located exactly halfway between the north and south poles. (Student tip: The equator is located …equal… distance from the north and south poles.)
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What is a meridian?
In reference to the earth’s surface… a meridian is an imaginary great circle on the earth’s surface passing through the North and South geographic poles. By this definition all longitude lines are meridians, but meridians do not have to line up with the longitude lines marked on your world globe. If you would like to learn more about meridians, go to the learning exercise where you will have the opportunity to try a fun experiment using your world globe.
In reference to a world globe… the term meridian also has a second meaning. The ring, either full circle or semi-circle to which the globe is mounted, is called a meridian. As you can see, this meridian ring runs parallel to the longitude marks drawn on the surface
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What is the prime meridian?
The prime meridian, also known as the “zero” meridian, is the meridian that passes through Greenwich England. (See “What is a meridian?” for the definition of a meridian.) All other meridian lines count east or west from the prime meridian.
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What is latitude?
The imaginary lines that run parallel with the equator are called latitude lines. They are used to define positions on the earth in degrees north or south of the equator. (Student tip: Here are a couple of simple memory hints to help you remember the direction of latitude lines. Hint #1, the world “latitude” and “altitude” are anagrams. This means that the same letters are in both words and can simply be rearranged to spell either word. Once you make the connection between latitude and altitude it is a simple matter to remember that latitude is a matter of altitude above or below the equator! Hint #2, your mouth actually moves in the direction the latitude lines run when you say the word. When you say the “LAT” portion of latitude, your mouth gets wide or moves in a horizontal direction just like latitude lines do!) Latitude lines are numbered in either 10º or 15º increments depending on how far they are located from the equator.
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What is longitude?
The imaginary lines that run parallel with the prime meridian are called longitude lines. They are used to define positions on the earth in degrees east or west of the zero or prime meridian. (Student tip: Here are a couple of simple memory hints to help you remember the direction of longitude lines. Hint #1, the first part of the memory hint is the letter “L” is located right next to the letter “M” in the English alphabet. The second part of the hint is to recognize that “long” is contained in the world longitude. Now when you put the two hints together, it will be easy for you to make the association that longitude runs …along… the same direction as the prime …meridian… does. Once you get that association in your head you will never forget it! Hint #2, your mouth actually moves in the direction the longitude lines run when you say the word. When you say the “LO” portion of longitude, your mouth gets tall or moves in a vertical direction just like longitude lines do! ) Longitude lines are numbered in 15º increments from the prime meridian.
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How do you find a place on a globe?
Because a globe is round with no beginning or end, there are two imaginary reference lines from which all distances and locations are determined - the equator and prime meridian. The equator and the prime meridian intersect at point “0”, where all numbering starts for longitude and latitude lines.
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How do you look up a place based on latitude and longitude?
Locations are uniquely identified on a globe by the point where the longitude and latitude lines intersect. For example, suppose someone gives you the coordinates of 33º north (latitude) by 97º west (longitude). If you count 33º north of the equator and 97º west of the prime meridian, you will find you are positioned directly over Dallas, Texas. If you would like to find the latitude and longitude coordinates for where you live, go to the learning exercise where you will learn all you need to know.
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What is a hemisphere?
The prefix “hemi” means half, and when combined with sphere it literally means half sphere. The earth, or a globe that models it, can therefore be readily divided into half or hemispheres. As used in context with the earth or world globes, there are four hemispheres. The northern/southern hemispheres are divided along the circle defined by equator. Anything north of the equator is in the northern hemisphere, while anything south of the equator is in the southern hemisphere. The east/west division is a bit less precise in its point of division. The western hemisphere is defined generally as the half of the globe that includes the North and South American continents. The eastern hemisphere is defined generally as including the continents of Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia.
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What is the International Date Line?
The International Date Line is an imaginary line that runs through the Pacific Ocean on roughly the 180º meridian. (The 180º meridian is exactly opposite the prime or zero meridian.) By international agreement, the date east of the International Date Line is one day earlier than the date to the west of the International Date Line. The International Date Line is primarily a tool to reconcile time keeping issues which have arisen as travelers circumnavigate the earth.
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How do globe makers decide which place names are used on globes?
Subject to space limitations, most attempt to list all nations and capitals, then the biggest city in that country or state, or an important city. There are typically more names along the coastlines because there is more room for them. If a city has some importance other than size or being a capital, then it’s added whenever possible. The US Government has a list of names for cities and countries outside North America that they call ‘conventional’ names. They are easier to understand than the literal translation and are why many globes show Finland, for example, and not Suomi.
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How many different maps are used in making world globes?
Each manufacturer utilizes their own maps, but currently there are over 100 different maps in over 15 languages in use by Replogle Globes Inc. itself. As you can imagine, by the time you consider all of the other manufacturers the number is even higher! This large number of different maps is made necessary due to the different sizes, languages, and styles of globes that are available.
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How often do globe manufacturers update their globe maps?
As an example, Replogle® has a policy of updating a map every time it’s printed. Although the names or boundaries of countries can change due to wars or other political upheavals, most changes are simple name changes that are relatively easy to make. Their policy is that when the U.S. State Department — along with representatives (usually the embassies of the governments involved), recognizes the changes as being a fact, they implement the changes into their system.
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How long does it take to update globes when the map information changes?
Generally, the 9" and 12" diameter globes are the first sizes to show up in the field with the changes, followed by the 16" models and all other sizes. This can be anywhere from six months to a year - depending on the field inventory. There can be no absolute guarantee that any map is 100% current, but this should not be a deterrent to the purchase because the greatest value of a globe is its ability to show true, geographical relationships.
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What is the purpose of a compass rose on a map?
The compass rose was traditionally used on early maps to designate wind direction and intensity at different parts of the world. Replogle® continues to place a compass rose on many globe maps for its beauty and information.
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What is an armillary sphere?
An armillary sphere is a model used to depict the “celestial sphere” and is based on the early belief that the Earth was the center of the universe. Invention of the armillary sphere is credited to Eratosthenes in about 255 BC. The center sphere in early armillary spheres depicted the earth. Later armillary spheres eventually replace the Earth with the Sun as the center of the universe. It is interesting to note that the image of the armillary sphere retains a position of significance even in our current day. The modern flag of Portugal displays an armillary sphere with the image of the traditional Portuguese shield superimposed in front of it.
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What is Press Craft construction?
Press craft is a paper or cardboard based material. It is a high density product that is layed down in multiple layers to form a rigid sphere. One of the advantages of press craft construction is that it allows for the inclusion of the raised relief feature.
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What is Vinyl construction?
Vinyl is a plastic based material that is vacuum formed. This process creates a globe with the map located on the inside of the globe surface. Vinyl construction is used primarily for illuminated globes in 12” and 16” sizes.
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Can push pins be used in my press craft globe?
Replogle does not recommend sticking any object into its globes. This will permanently damage the surface of your globe.
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What is a single versus a dual axis globe mount?
As a general rule, most globes have a single axis mount. This means that just like the earth that they model, they are able to “spin” on the axis that runs through the north and south poles. This is great for being able to see how the earth rotates on it axis but is not terribly convenient when you want to find a location in the southern hemisphere. (Single axis mount globes can usually be recognized by the half ring meridian they use for mounting.) Dual axis globe mounts, on the other hand, allow the globe to rotate on an equatorial axis as well as the normal polar axis. This means that you can actually rotate the globe so it is on edge or even upside down. This allows the user to more easily find locations at any point on the globe. (Dual axis mount globes can usually be recognized by their full ring meridian. It is the ability of the meridian ring to rotate that give the globe an equatorial axis rotation.)
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How do you clean an Artline® globe?
Artline Globes are made of museum quality acrylic. In order to maintain their original beauty, Spherical Concepts has created a special cleaning kit. Each Artline Globe comes with a special order form you can use to order the cleaning kit. The cleaning kit contains a specially formulated acrylic polish. Spherical Concepts recommends that you not use common household cleaners such as Windex® when cleaning your Artline Globe.
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How do you clean a Gemstone Globe?
According to Alexander Kalifano, manufacturer and importer of Gemstone Globes, the proper way to clean and care for a Gemstone Globe is as follows.
Care for the Globe;
Use a soft cotton cloth damped with rubbing alcohol to shine and remove fingerprints on the globe only. Do not use rubbing alcohol on the stand because it is too harsh.
Care for the Stand;
Use a soft cotton cloth with a very small amount of hand lotion to remove fingerprints. With a clean dry soft cotton cloth wipe away the hand lotion and shine.
More information on cleaning and caring for your Gemstone Globe can be found in the Comprehensive Gemstone Guide booklet which is available from World Globe Universe.
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How do you clean a National Geographic® globe?
Household dust can be removed with a dry duster, such as a lambs wool or feather duster. You may wish occasionally to use a slightly dampened cloth to remove fingerprints or smudges after dusting. Markings can be wiped off with a moistened cleansing tissue or soft, damp cloth.
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How do you clean a Replogle® globe?
Markings can be wiped off with a moistened cleansing tissue or soft, damp cloth. Household dust can be removed with a dry cloth, though you may wish occasionally to use a slightly dampened cloth to remove fingerprints or smudges. A mild, non-abrasive product is recommended for difficult marks. Do not use industrial or even household cleaners that contain alcohol or any solvent.
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What is the Updatable Globe Program?
In order to help you keep your globe up-to-date, several manufacturers offer a globe update program. For selected products you can purchase a replacement globe in order to keep up with the political changes in our world. For details concerning participating manufacturers, eligible globes, discounts available and terms, you can view our summary or contact the manufacturer directly.
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Where can you buy a replacement light bulb for a National Geographic® illuminated globe?
Replacement bulbs can be found at any hardware or lighting store. National Geographic’s illuminated globes use candelabra style light bulbs with a 60 watt maximum rating.
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Where can you buy a replacement light bulb for a Replogle® illuminated globe?
Replacement bulbs can be found at any hardware or lighting store. Some of Replogle’s illuminated globes use from a 15 watt up to a 25 watt candelabra light bulb and others require a standard light bulb. Please follow these guidelines: do not use more than a 15 or 25 watt bulb for a 12” globe, a 40 watt bulb for a 20” globe, or a 75 watt bulb for a 32” globe.
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What stones are used on gemstone globes?
There are many different stones used in the creation of Gemstone Globes. The actual gemstones used, varies depending on the manufacturer. The ocean color of the individual globe dictates the gemstone that will be used to create the oceans.

Replogle provides the following list of the 25 most common gemstones used in the creation of their Gemstone Globes.
Abalone Shell
Amethyst
Aphrizite
Belioculas Onyx
Black Spotted Jade
Chrysolithos
Coral
Green Jade
Green Jasper
Lapis
Lapis Siphnos
Mongolian Jade
Mongolian Red Spotted Jade
Mongolian White Jade
Mother of Pearl
Phoenix Jade
Picture Jasper
Purple Quartz
Red Jade
Red Spotted Jade
South African Jade
Spotted Jade
Tiger Eye
Turquoise
White Jade

Alexander Kalifano provides the following list of the 25 most common gemstones used in the creation of their Gemstone Globes.
Abalone
Africa Jade
Africa Onyx
Africa Turquoise
Aventurine
Breciated Jasper
China Jade
Dalmentioner
Dumortierite
Howlite
Leopard Skin
Mohagany
Mookiate
Mother of Pearl
Picasso Jasper
Picture Jasper
Reconstructed Lapis
Red Jasper
Rhodonite
Tiger Eye
Tiger Iron
Unakite
White Stone
Yellow Jasper
Zebra Jasper

For those interested in more information, we invite you to view the Comprehensive Gemstone Guide which catalogs 144 of the semi-precious gemstones used in the creation of modern Gemstone Globes.
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How does the “Touch On” feature work on my Replogle® 20” or 32” illuminated globe?
By touching any part of the meridian ring with your fingertip, you can control three light levels.
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My Replogle®globe ball won’t stay upright. What should I do?
Make sure that each ear or post on the meridian has a plastic washer and black rubber tip in place. If you need these parts, please call Replogle Customer Service at (800) 275-4452.
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How old is my Replogle® globe and what is it worth?
For help dating your Replogle globe ball, WorldGlobeU.com has incorporated Replogle’s age chart into our site. While the information is specific to Replogle globes, the political changes and time periods identified would apply equally to all world globes. Please keep in mind that the guidelines are general in nature and you will need to consider all geographical/political information in order to make an accurate estimate of age. You can learn the value of your globe by contacting Murray Hudson Antiquarian Books, Maps, Prints & Globes in Halls, TN. Contact them at www.murrayhudson.com or (800) 748-9946.
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I have an older Replogle® globe that has a lot of wear and tear. Can I get a replacement globe or stand?
Replogle has a 10 year Updatable Globe Program for their retail customers. The stand and other parts can be replaced but not under the update program.
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