Globes are the spherical version of a map. Their spherical shape allows them to represent the earth perfectly. Globes were always in used as navigational tools as well as to understand various earth’s processes and phenomena.
The earliest globes were traced to the fifteenth century. Like maps, globes also show accurate directions, dimensions, distances, shapes and sizes of all the countries in the world. Most globe-makers use high quality geographic research and cartographic abilities to design globes. They are also updated regularly to take note of any changes in the world’s political, social, or environmental conditions.
Digital globes are those which use advancements in digital technology for representing the earth better. They have digital images over and inside the screen that keep changing as per the user’s requirements. The images, derived from satellite images, are made to appear on the screen, which is similar to a picture screen of a television. There are also digital raised-relief globes with clearly defined mountain ranges and water bodies. There are also celestial digital globes available. However, digital globes are not generally meant for commercial applications.
Virtual globes are also digital globes that can be viewed on the computer or any other interface. These may be simple globes used for classroom teaching, or they can be highly technologically advanced. Some virtual globes use state-of-the-art technology like satellite imaging and multiple GIS databases for real-time coverage. Virtual globes can be online or offline. These days, the application of virtual globes has become so common that they are also being fitted in cars in order to make navigation easier for the driver. They can provide detailed information, right down to a street’s name.
Another kind of digital globe is the hyperglobe that uses virtual reality to present spatial effects. These are used for visually depicting certain geographic processes and phenomenon such as the earth’s inclination, space travel, and satellite technology, through three-dimensional geoid visualization, animation, and real-time presentations. These also have interactive cartometric tools for making the data globally available.