The Great Globe Project

The Great Globe is a 1:100,000 scale model of the earth that will stand over 40 stories in height. Over 10 million 4” triangular tiles will cover the rotating 420 ft diameter globe. Every natural and manmade feature on Earth larger than 30 ft. will be viewable on the surface of the model. Thousands of American children will collaborate with other middle school students around the world to research, computer model, and fabricate 3D color tiles of  the Earth’s surface. Starting with satellite imagery and topographic data from NASA, these citizen scientists will become stewards of a triangular area on the globe 6 miles (10 km) on a side. They will research their part of the Earth and work to create a digital model. With the help of an extensive network of scientists and professionals, the students will become part of a global Earth survey. They will collect data on anything they find interesting  while experiencing the joy of discovery and the satisfaction of teamwork while collaborating with tile builders from all over the world. New students will be mentored by graduates of The Great Globe program.

The Great Globe Project

  • Explorers

    Thousands of children will collaborate with other middle school students around the world to research, model, and fabricate 3D color tiles of the Earth’s surface.  Starting with satellite imagery and topographic data from NASA, these citizen scientists will become stewards of a triangular area on the globe 6 miles (10 km) on a side.  They will research their part of the Earth and work to create a digital model.  With the help of an extensive network of scientists and professionals, the students will become part of a global Earth survey.  They will collect data on anything they find interesting while experiencing the joy of discovery and the satisfaction of teamwork while collaborating with tile builders from all over the world.  New students will be mentored by graduates of The Great Globe program.

  • Tiles - Bringing Us Together

    It is estimated that it will take 3 years to produce the 10.5 million tiles required to cover the Globe.  Once all of the tiles are in place, they will continue to be replaced over subsequent years with updated versions reflecting the changes that have occurred on Earth since the previous tile.  Future generations of children will be able to participate in this permanent process of documenting our changing planet.

  • Building Arizona

    Over 2 dozen Arizona schools have signed up as beta test participants.  The cost of each student to participate and make one tile is approximately $50 dollars.  Most of the children in the world will not be able to afford the cost to participate and will rely on grants and “tile scholarships” that enable this program to reach children the world over.

  • Minnesota Legacy

    This project is an extension of a previous student-built globe project for the University of Minnesota Institute of Technology in 1993.  In Minnesota, over 30,000 children participated in the development and construction of a 42 ft (1:1,000,000 scale) model of Earth.  The previous globe was assembled and disassembled several times, making its way to locations across North America and was the star attraction at the Earth Day event in 1995.

  • The Future of the Great Globe

    Preliminary construction has begun on the site for the Great Globe near Phoenix, AZ.  The completion of the globe structure and installation of the first set of tiles is scheduled for late 2012.  This project will become a destination for millions of people from all over the world and strive to promote worldwide environmental and humanitarian education.

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