difference between map and globe

Differences Between Map and Globe

In the previous article, we have discussed about what is a map. different types of maps and how they are classified etc. In this article, we will learn about the key differences between map and globe.

Earth is a 3-Dimensional  object with highly undulating terrain.

Map represents whole or part of the earth surface on a 2-Dimensional plane surface. A projected coordinate system is used for converting 3-Dimensional surface into a plane surface.

Suggested Reading: Link Different Types of Maps Based on Scale and Purpose 

Globe is a 3-Dimensional model of earth surface. Most often globes are prepared in spherical shape with no undulations any where on the surface. However, some times globes also prepared to show the relief present over the earth. The relief is exaggerated for visual purpose on the globe, because the actual relief is difficult to identify when we scale down it to the size of globe. Globes also show details of latitude and longitude.

Following are the key differences between map and globe.

Differences Between Map and Globe:

  1. Globe represents earth as spherical model. Map represents earth as a flat 2-Dimensional plane surface.
  2. Entire earth surface is shown in the globe, where as only a small portion (some times complete earth) is shown in the map.
  3. Based on projection system adopted, shape of boundaries, distance measurements etc., may deviate from the original values in the map. Since globe is 3-Dimensional model, most of the times boundary shapes and other features are preserved.
  4. Globe can be used only for illustration or visual purpose but not for measurements. Map can be used for measurements also depending on the type of map and projection system adopted.
  5. Maps are very handy to the people and can be moved very easily from place to other place. Globe is little bit inconvenient to carry.
  6. Paper maps have the tendency to shrink or expand depending on the storage conditions with time. Globe doesn’t change in size normally with time.

Additional Reading:

One can refer to any standard textbook or NPTEL for additional reading on this topic.


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