ABOUT ORBIS WORLD GLOBES AND EARTHBALLS
Orbis World Globes is a cartographic design company located north of Seattle, on beautiful Orcas Island, in Washington State’s Salish Sea. We are modern pioneers in the field of photorealistic Earth imaging. Orbis developed the first generation of world globes to display our planet as it appears from outer space, complete with its atmospheric cloudforms, our Orbis EarthBalls.
We also introduced the first world replicas to display Earth’s city lights through the use of photoluminescence. These look like the Earth from space at night, with glowing cities showing where the population centers are.
Our Orbis/NASA Blue Marble imagery represents the most visually authentic global view of Planet Earth ever created. Our inflatable globes combine NASA’s newest generation of satellite imaging with Orbis’ cutting-edge globemaking technology. The resulting creation represents a new level of global cartography – highly photorealistic world globes. Orbis’ inflatable globes enable millions of would-be space travellers to experience the astronauts’ perspective of observing our home planet from outer space.
Keep Up With Us
- Founder Eric J. Morris is inspired by the early photographs of the whole Earth taken by the NASA astronauts during the Apollo Moon voyages.
- These images of Earth motivate him to create a truly spherical & photorealistic representation of our planet as it appears from deep space.
- Morris’ first company, Pacific Drum, brings to market its original 16-inch diameter inflatable “reality” globe: ‘The WholeEarth Ball.’
- These globes are the first replicas of Earth ever created to depict the astronauts’ view of our planet from space.
- WholeEarth Balls become EarthBalls
- Pacific Drum morphs into EarthSource and clones hundreds of thousands of little worlds which travel everywhere – into homes, classrooms, offices, churches, theaters – around the world and beyond.
- Orbis produces its first ‘giant’ EarthBall, an 8′ helium-filled globe, displayed at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
- One very special EarthBall is launched into orbit aboard the NASA Space Shuttle Atlantis in March of 1992.
- During their nine day, 3.7 million mile journey, the seven astronauts of mission STS-45 deployed the EarthBall in filming the NASA educational video “The Atmosphere Below”(see EarthBalls in Space).
- Development of Orbis digital cartography.
- Product design – LifeSphere, AeroChair
- The first digitally printed giant Earth globe premieres at The World Petroleum Congress in Calgary, Alberta.
- The EarthBlimp, Orbis’ helium-filled, rotating, lighter-than-air Earthship flies overhead in San Francisco’s Marriott Hotel for The Discovery Health Channel.
- Through a collaboration with NASA, Orbis transforms MODIS satellite data into the most authentic photographic representation of Planet Earth ever created.
- This evolutionary acomplishment makes its spherical debut at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah in the form of two 16 foot diameter rotating Orbis World Globes.
- Orbis installs giant rotating world globes in several museums & libraries
- We created a 20 foot diameter world globe for a concert in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome; is recognized with the “best of show” award at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas
The 16 inch EarthBall is re-introduced as an updated version of the world’s original “reality globe”, now featuring the same NASA digital satellite imagery as Orbis Giant Globes. On August 29th, a 11 foot diameter Orbis globe symbolizing a peaceful planet appears with 500,000 people in the streets of New York City and is seen by millions worldwide.
Orbis develops the internal illumination feature for its world globes and produces the first internally illuminated Orbis globes; creates a 10 foot diameter world globe for Blue Origin – Jeff Bezos’ spaceship development company.
Orbis launches the new one-meter diameter EarthBall; delivers three giant globes for an exposition in Dubai; installs a 10 foot diameter globe in Chicago’s Field Museum for their “Evolving Planet” exhibit; and produces a 10 foot diameter internally illuminated globe at Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, WA. Orbis also displays a 16 foot diameter globe at the United Nations World Urban Forum in Vancouver BC; and completes a unique 10 foot diameter internally illuminated globe featuring a pair of “orbiting’ backlit signboxes for The EnvirOx Company.
Orbis displays two 10 foot world globes (one with custom graphics & another with NASA imagery) at the NADA show in Las Vegas; and creates several more 10 & 12 foot diameter custom globes for Budweiser and Gtech Corporation. Orbis develops 6 and 12 foot diameter Moon globes for NASA, X-Prize and Google. Orbis provides giant world globes for AAA, The Bioneers Conference, The Discovery Channel, and The X-Prize Space Exposition. Orbis World Globes are featured in the annual NASA publication, “Spinoff”, covering the transfer of NASA-developed technologies for public & private industry.
Orbis creates a Saturn globe with rings for The Raytheon Company and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL); two 4 foot diameter Moon globes for NASA and Lockheed Martin Mission Services. Orbis provides a 16 foot diameter Earth globe for the NASA display at the AARP National Expo in Washington, DC; and produces another 10 foot diameter internally illuminated globe for the “Wings Over The Rockies Air and Space Museum” in Denver, CO; a pair of 8 foot diameter globes for The Volvo Ocean Race; and a 6 foot diameter world globe for the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poznan, Poland.
Orbis produces a record number of giant globe installations, including a 6′ installation for an elementary school in Palm Beach, FL; a 12 foot illuminated globe for a mega-church in Rogers, AR; a 10 foot internally illuminated globe for the new Centennial Building at Loma Linda University Medical School in Los Angeles, CA; and an 18 foot illuminated globe for Vancouver Canada’s new Convention Centre, which became the International Broadcast Media Center during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Orbis also produced many globes for special events, including a custom 8 foot sphere for Gtech Corporation; a 6 foot Earth globe for NASA; a 3′ Moon globe for Lockheed Martin; and three very custom ‘pink’ world globes for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
This year also saw EarthBalls lofted into space, again! (see 1992) to the International Space Station for the CBS News “Everyone in the World Has a Story” series.
Orbis’ biggest project to date: eight planets and moons ranging from 1 to 23 feet in diameter, for Universal Studios Japan in Osaka. Space Fantasy is an indoor roller coaster ride through the solar system wherein riders get catapulted past comets, moons and planets, travel through a meteor shower, and loop around a giant 23 foot (7 meter) diameter Earth before voyaging to the center of the Sun!
Orbis produced and delivered a 16.4 foot (5 meter) diameter internally illuminated globe to the Newcastle Regional Museum in Newcastle, Australia.
Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi’s Earth Day 2010 video broadcast to Japanese school children from the International Space Station with a 16″ orbiting EarthBall.
Orbis created an 8 foot diameter internally illuminated globe with a custom mount for the Third Reformed Church in Pella, Iowa.
Orbis built an 8 foot diameter cloudfree globe for the Global Learning Academy in Pensacola, FL as well as two 6 foot and one 5 foot diameter globes.
Orbis created a 10 foot diameter internally illuminated globe with a custom pedestal mount for the Heroy Geology Building, Department of Earth Sciences at Syracuse University, and a 10 foot diameter internally illuminated globe for the West Oak Lane Charter School in Philadelphia, PA.
- Orbis produced and installed a 10 foot diameter globe with a South Pole LED floodlight and a retractable suspension mount for Ripley’s Aquarium Canada in Toronto.
- Orbis created and installed a 12.4 foot (3.8-meter) diameter internally illuminated custom globe for Heineken at the IFEA European Soccer Final at Wembley Stadium in London.
- Orbis built and installed an 8 foot diameter internally illuminated globe at Piner High School in Santa Rosa CA.
- Orbis produced an 8 foot diameter internally illuminated globe for the Flight Centre Ltd in Sidney, Australia.
- Orbis produced two 10 foot diameter internally illuminated custom globes for the Factors Group of Nutritional Companies
Orbis created and installed an 8 foot diameter internally illuminated globe in the lobby of the Shore Country Day School in Beverly, MA.
Orbis built and installed a 9 foot diameter custom globe for the Pachamama Portal art installation at Burning Man in Black Rock City, NV.
Eric J Morris, founder of Orbis World Globes, delivered a TED talk at TEDx Orcas Island about the inception and gestation of Orbis EarthBalls.
Orbis created and installed a 11.5 foot (3.5m) diameter internally illuminated globe in the lobby of the new 47 story financial tower in Panama City, Panama.
Orbis produced and installed an 8 foot diameter internally illuminated globe in the atrium of the Heartland Worship Center in Paducah, KY.
Orbis created a 11.5 foot (3.5m) diameter custom globe featuring the NASA Black Marble imagery of the Earth at night w/ photoluminescence city lights.
Orbis produced and installed a 6 foot diameter internally illuminated globe in the new Fort Campbell High School in Fort Campbell, KY.
Orbis designed and built a custom 5 foot diameter revolving globe with an external semi-meridian for the Wahl Global Headquarters Museum in Sterling, IL.
Orbis created a 4 foot diameter globe for The NASA Glenn Visitor Center in Cleveland, Ohio.
Orbis produced a 6 foot diameter, internally illuminated revolving globe for Esprix Technologies in Sarasota, FL.
On 26 October, Pope Francis held a video conference with the six orbiting astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Throughout this historical event, the orbiting ISS EarthBall was prominently displayed for the Pope and the world to appreciate.
Orbis created a 3.5 meter (11.5 ‘) diameter custom “Black Marble” globe for the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. This giant globe, featuring the city lights of the world, was displayed outdoors on the 4th floor dining room patio of the UN building overlooking the East River.
Orbis produced a custom 5′ diameter world globe for the Hun School in Princeton, NJ, a 6′ custom globe for the Higher Vision Church in Valencia, CA, a satellite imagery Saturn globe (with rings) for an art installation in Warwick, Rhode Island, and a 10′ diameter Moon globe for Scotch College in Melbourne, Australia.
Orbis installed a 12′ globe for the “Launch to Landing” exhibit in the Oklahoma History Center, chronicling Oklahoman’s contribution to the US space program. Orbis created and installed a custom 8′ world globe for ESRI, the world’s leading GIS software company, at ESRI’s headquarters in Redlands, CA.
Orbis provided a 5′ globe for the set of a Netflix Productions feature film. Orbis introduced a new line of giant (4′, 6′, 8′, 10′, 12′ & 16′ diameter) lightweight inflatable globes for parades, festivals, environmental & peace rallies, concerts and other indoor & outdoor events.
Orbis created a 8′ diameter Mars globe for the fabulous new “Mars: The Next Giant Leap” exhibit at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, PA. Orbis installed a custom 6′ globe in the new Galápagos Islands exhibit at the Houston Zoo. Orbis produced an illuminated 10′ globe for the nightime holiday parade in Waukesha, WI. Orbis closed out the year by installing a custom 7′ globe in Fairbanks, Alaska. This unique globe displays Earth’s city lights as well as the Aurora Borealis and the Aurora Australis.
- Orbis introduced a new line of ‘Event Globes’, featuring brilliant dye-sub colors, in a range of sizes from 4’-16’ in diameter.
- For the new “Sacred Places” exhibit at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum, Orbis created a 6′ diameter internally illuminated, revolving custom globe.
- Orbis produced a ginormous 14’ diameter two-tone pink custom “Barbie World” for a Mattel/Schwarzkopf promotional campaign in Los Angeles.
- At the world film premiere of ‘Postcards From Earth’ in the brand new Las Vegas Sphere, Orbis displayed ten giant EarthBalls ranging from 6 to 12 feet in diameter.