World Globe Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Globe

World Globe Buying Guide

The oldest surviving terrestrial globe, The Erdapfel, was made in Germany in 1492. World map globes possess a long and vibrant history; they​​ were once ancient navigational tools, but through the ages, transformed into status symbols, depicting the birth and demise of empires, man’s desire to expand and conquer, and the intellectual interests of the 18th and 19th century’s growing middle class.

Today, they’re found in antique shops, collectors’ cabinets, and homes. People buy globes for decoration, their monetary value (in the case of antiques), and academic uses. At Replogle Globes, we stock a variety of beautiful globes and have put together this brief guide on how to buy a globe to help you make an informed purchase.

What Type of Globe Is The Best?

Floor globes are taller and have a larger diameter than their desktop alternatives. Hence, the first consideration is size, which is determined by where you wish to display your globe.

Chic Floor Globes

Annapolis Antique Floor Globe
Annapolis 20″ Antique Illuminated Floor Heirloom

As the name suggests, and as one would assume, floor globes are larger than desktop globes and take up a decent amount of space. Standard floor globes have a 16-inch diameter, excluding their stands, which may have one, two, three, or four legs. Quality globes can easily become statement pieces in offices, studies, libraries, family rooms, and even the classroom.

Replogle floor globes come in antique and contemporary styles, with diameters ranging from 12” to 32”. We have the best quality world globes that are available: illuminated, non-illuminated, and/or with a raised relief. With our considerable variety of sizes and styles, you’re bound to find a suitable globe.

Compact Desktop Globes

Atlas Desktop Bronze Metallic Globe
Atlas 12″ Bronze Metallic Raised Relief Desk

Desktop globes meticulously illustrate the world’s geography aesthetically and can double up as a classroom educational tool or decorative office element. They are typically between 12 to 16-inches in diameter and spin on a single leg base. Our desktop globe collection consists of mini and standard globes ranging from 4.3” to 16”.

Like our chic floor globes, from the popular Constellation to Franklin models, we stock several desktop globe styles and designs, each with a unique aesthetic that will complement any space. At Replogle, we also have high-quality inflatable globes and interactive world globes, which are great for educational purposes.

At Replogle, we also have high-quality inflatable globes and interactive world globes, which are great for educational purposes.

What Purpose Should Your World Globe Serve?

World map globes are used for educational and decorative purposes; each use determines the size and type of globe you should purchase.

Educational Purposes

Atlantis 12″ Blue Raised Relief Desk Globe
Atlantis 12″ Blue Raised Relief Desk

Whether they have political or topographical maps, the world globe is ubiquitous in geography classrooms. Globes displaying details such as country names, capitals, and latitude lines are fitting for educational applications, particularly where kids are required to learn physical geography. The best globes for this purpose are large and brightly colored to stimulate learning and memory.

The Replogle educational globes’ collection contains maps with moons, constellations, vegetation, ocean currents, topographical and political details. Our special Geographer 12” is a write-and-erase globe, specifically designed for children, while our Replogle IntelliGlobe II is one of the most informative globes in our collection, which comes with an IntelliGlobe II pen and World Discovery Book for enhanced learning.

If you want to buy a globe for educational purposes, make sure it is durable and sturdy, with accurate detailing and a timeless design. It’s also worthwhile checking that it accurately reflects name changes and that there are no missing names or printing errors.

A World Globe for Decorative Purpose

Hamilton 12″ Black Raised Relief Desk Designer Series
Hamilton 12″ Black Raised Relief Desk

Of course, not all globes need to be learning tools. Decorative globes can afford to offer minimalist or conceptual designs with less detail. Some opt for bold globes in black and white, while others prefer traditional sepia-toned variations. Conventionally colored globes work best in children’s areas, where muted designs, which exude classic flair, suit adult libraries and home offices.

Repogle’s Designer Series has the perfect globes with soft, velvet-like finishes in gold, blue, black, and sepia hues for those who’d prefer something luxe and conceptual. When purchasing for decorative purposes, familiarize yourself with the specific features of a globe, i.e., smaller ones make great accent pieces, while larger ones can become a room’s focal piece.

Buying a Globe as a Gift

Jupiter Globe by Astronomy Magazine Desk – Replogle Globes
Jupiter Globe

A unique, high-quality world globe is a wonderful gift for travelers, geography enthusiasts, and any person who likes collectible items with old-world charm. Besides classic world globes, there are also celestial and fantasy-art models on the market.

When buying a globe as a gift, the features included, design, and color options are important points to consider, as well the person’s taste and home style. If you’re unsure, a world desk globe is a safe option, that’s simultaneously practical, portable, and decorative.

What Features Should Your Globe Include?

Know your globe can come with different features that alter the design, style, and budget.

Non-Illuminated vs. Illuminated

Carlyle 12 inch Desktop Illuminated Globe
Carlyle 12″ Antique Illuminated Raised Relief Desk

Illuminated globes provide interiors with a gentle, ambient glow, bringing cartographic features on vividly-hued maps. However, if the world globe you’re buying is intended for classroom use, then it may be unnecessary to purchase one that lights up, especially since these globes tend to be passed around the classroom during the day.

Many non-illuminated globes display a raised relief (a globe with raised mountains), illustrating the earth’s surface’s physical variations and protruding mountain ranges, especially ours at Replogle. Because they don’t require a power outlet, non-illuminated globes can be placed anywhere, which is an added benefit.

Base and Meridian Options

Statesman 20″ Antique Illuminated Floor Heirloom – Replogle Globes
Statesman 20″ Antique Illuminated Floor Heirloom

World map globes come with different mounting style options and meridians. The meridian is the ring that encompasses the globe and mounts it to its stand. When it covers half the globe from the North to the South Pole, it’s called a semi-meridian. If it encompasses the entire globe, it’s referred to as full meridian.

Full-swing meridians allow you to spin the globe from side to side or up and down. Other unique heirloom globes from Replogle come with a cradle mount featuring a full meridian that rests between notches in the stand and a wooden dowel at the center of the base. These are typically used to mount floor globes.

Physical, Political, or a Globe with Raised Relief?

Most globes feature political or physical maps. Political globes depict borders, capitals, and country names. Occasionally, they illustrate shipping lanes, major water current directions, and longitudinal and latitudinal grids, too. These are the types you’re likely to find in classrooms because they act as 3D maps, teaching students the correct geographical orientation of continents.

Physical maps are designed to illustrate the earth’s natural relief. They feature naturalistic green yellows, browns with detailed three-dimensional shading showcasing the tallest mountains and deepest seas. All bodies of water are marked, including rivers and lakes. They will often depict relevant place names but forgo capital cities and town names.

Lastly, raised-relief globes illustrate land features by molding elevations and depressions on the globe’s surface. Although not strictly to scale, they allow viewers to better visualize mountain ranges and plains. These tactile globes are particularly popular among children.

Still Can’t Make a Choice?

Researching different globe options truly makes a world of difference when deciding which type of world globe to buy. Outside of budget, purpose, preference, and display space are the three main factors to consider. And perhaps a final one is the manufacturer. While it’s quick to buy something online, you really do want to check warranties and globe quality.

If you have any doubts about where to look, we guarantee you can trust Replogle Globes. We have over 90 years of experience manufacturing world-class globes decorating homes, schools, and universities. Wondering where to buy Replogle Globes? On our official website, of course!

The mesmerizing collection of Replogle Globe’s bestsellers is a good starting place if you’re looking for inspiration. There’s something to suit everyone, even an eclectic globe “drinking cabinet.” As one of the best and most reputable globe makers in the world, we’re always available to answer questions and recommend the best globes for discerning buyers.

Posted by Rick Winegard