Giant EarthBall Inquiries


NASA scientists use satellite imagery to create our EarthBalls, which stand out from the standard globes you can find elsewhere. Originally, the 2002 Winter Olympic Games committee selected Orbis to design and build two 16 foot diameter world globes. And, through a unique collaboration with NASA, Orbis transformed NASA’s Blue Marble satellite image data into incredibly accurate spherical globes of planet Earth.

This gigantic mosaic photograph consists of thousands of individual images taken from an orbiting array of satellites, and features Orbis Cloudforms™. Thus, EarthBalls feature the most photorealistic depiction of our world’s atmosphere ever created.

Using proprietary digital cartographic tools, the Earth image is transformed into football-shaped segments (gores) which are printed onto flat fabric material and assembled into giant spherical Orbis world globes. So, the six gore projection is used to make Orbis 16″ and 1 meter diameter EarthBalls. Likewise, the 12 gore projection is used to produce Orbis Giant EarthBalls.

NASA Blue Marble Plate Carree Globe Projection

Globe Projection in 12 Gores

Globe Projection in 6 Gores


Orbis World Globes is a cartographic design company located north of Seattle, on beautiful Orcas Island, in Washington State’s Salish Sea. Orbis developed the first generation of world globes to display our planet as it appears from outer space. This imagery is complete with its atmospheric cloudforms. And, from this certified NASA satellite imagery, Orbis EarthBalls were created.

Also, we introduced the first world replicas to display Earth’s city lights through the use of photoluminescence. Truly, these look like the Earth from space at night.  Each EarthBall features glowing cities showing where the population centers are. 

The Orbis/NASA Blue Marble imagery represents the most visually authentic global view of Planet Earth ever created. Our globes combine NASA’s newest generation of satellite imaging with Orbis’ cutting-edge globemaking technology. Consequently, the resulting creation represents a new level of global cartography – highly photorealistic world globes. As a result, these globes enable millions of would-be space travellers to experience the astronauts’ perspective of observing our home planet from outer space.


We make it easier than ever to purchase one of our giant EarthBalls. We offer our giant inflatable globes in a variety of different sizes, and we even offer the option to fully customize the globe design to your exact specifications. Because your globe requirements are unique, we need to understand your particular situation before suggesting your globe size and features or quoting prices. Whether you want our famous NASA “Blue Marble” EarthBall imagery, or a globe of your own special design, we make the process quick and painless! Just contact us today. To begin communicating your requirements and to receive a custom globe quote, please click on the Inquiry Form button above or below. We’ll get back to you right away.