Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Interactive Globes

The David Rumsey Map Collection has added 18 new interactive 3D globes to its huge collection of online digitized vintage maps. The new globes include 9 Terrestrial Globes, 3 Celestial Globes, and 6 Planetary Globes.

The Planetary Globes include globes of the Moon, Mars, Venus and Mercury. It also includes a 3D globe of Jupiter's moon Io. All these planetary globes are made from recent imagery. The 9 Terrestrial Globes have been created from vintage historical maps. These vintage maps are not globe gores but historical world maps. The 3 Celestial Globes have also been created from historical, vintage maps, including two celestial maps from 1693 and one from 1792.

Trans World Airlines. TWA World Routes. U.S.A. 1958 (David Rumsey Map Collection)

If your personal favorite world map is not in David Rumseys' new globe collection you can just make your own. Map to Globe is an amazing website which can take any 2D map and turn it into a 3D interactive globe. Using Map to Globe you can take any image of a map (or any other image) and drape it over a three dimensional ball to create your very own interactive globe.

If you browse the David Rumsey Map Collection you can find lots of world maps. The David Rumsey Luna Browser includes an export option for all maps, which allows you to download the image of a map to your computer (the Luna Browser filtered to only show only 'world atlas' maps). Map to Globe works best with images that have a 2:1 ratio, where the width of the image is twice the height of the image. For the very best results you might want to use a photo image editor to tweak any downloaded map into the correct ratio. 

After you have created your interactive globe on Map to Globe you can download an animated gif of your creation. If you select the 'Animations' option from the menu then Map to Globe will automatically generate an animated image showing your new interactive globe spinning around.

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