The quick and easy answer to this question is no. But to understand the differences, there are two primary considerations, which we have listed for you here:
Currency of Information
The first consideration is your requirements for the primary use of the globe. How current a globe needs to be is determined by its currency’s relevance to your specific needs. The currency refers to the date the globe was manufactured, which is typically close to the date of the globe’s last update, usually within 12 – 18 months for most manufacturers. Visit our “How old is your globe” article if you would like to determine the age of your globe.
The currency is essential because the globe’s updatedness is a snapshot of time. The information a globe shows is from the date of manufacture. So changes that have occurred after that date would naturally not show. For example, if you viewed a globe built before 1991, Russia, as we know it today, would have appeared as the Soviet Union.
On the Ultimate Globes site, you will find that we include the “Product Currency” on each product page, so you know if the product is current or an old world globe which refers to a specific period the map was created to represent.
The cartography or “map” style used for most globes is typically political or topographical. The political map refers to a map that highlights country borders and named places. A topographical map is a map designed to show variations in elevation around the globe. In some cases, this can also include raised relief, which are rises on the globe’s surface to indicate mountain ranges, etc. This feature is only available from a couple of manufacturers, including Waypoint Geographic and Replogle Globes.
Picking the Right Globe
Ultimately finding the correct globe for your need depends on your specific needs. If you teach a child in a school or home school setting for K thru 6th grades, a current political globe is most likely your go-to instructional tool. In contrast, the higher academic grades may be more focused on historical period globes and the world’s geographic landscape, which would include topographical and raised relief models.
Those looking to add a decorative component to their home or office may prefer floor-standing globes or decorative designer globes with a minimalistic approach to cartography, more focused on the color and design versus the politically named places a world globe might contain.
Rest assured that for any globe you may desire, Ultimate Globes carries a large selection. If you need help finding the correct globe for your needs, our Customer Support team is educated on each available globe. Feel free to reach out today.