My grandfather built a rather large globe 10 years ago and never got to complete it (he started drawing about a fifth of it by hand and just gave up after that).

I have been looking for a sinusoidal interrupted projection, with a traditional linework (but any would do) that I could get printed and apply to his globe to finish his work for him (as a surprise!).

I have contacted a few companies but they are charging around 3000 EUR (linework and background topography image) which is way too much for me.

I am a bit lost with the science of it and would really appreciate if someone who understands that stuff could help me out of bit : Basically where kind I find a high res image of the earth with country and city names, borders, etc... and how do I make it into a sinusoidal interrupted projection?

Data I got from my grandpa a couple years ago, when I was shopping around : - globe circumference = 2 meters - diameter = 0,63662m - scale = 1/20 M - 10° L=111km111111/20M =5cm555



3 Answers 3


Seems like a very big ask and is going to require a lot of hand-holding to do this. The only software I can think of that can print a map with that projection is GMT http://gmt.soest.hawaii.edu/

The example in section 6.4.6 of the manual shows a base map in an interrupted sinusoidal projection. You need to modify this to make a map in more than three sections (12? 24? Depends how flexible your paper is) which you then print (and each complete pole-to-pole section will be 1m tall, so you may have to chop it up further to either fit on your printer or be manageable, these things are going to be quite long and thin).

Then there's still the question of the base map data. GMT has a basic coast outline and some other geographic data but if it's not exactly what you want then there's some more work to do.

What's the globe made from? You need to think about how to stick the paper to it. If possible, I'd use wallpaper paste, since you can stretch the paper slightly before the paste dries and slide the pieces a bit. But then the ink might run. Test all these things first. You don't want to give grandpa his globe back with smudged, overlapping, misaligned imagery sloppily pasted all over it!

  • Because most GIS software can make maps with Sinusoidal projections, they can print the gores needed for this globe. Apart from the practical issues you mention, the chief technical one (from a GIS point of view) is deciding how many gores to use. A fine globe will place all features within 0.5 mm of the correct location. To achieve this accuracy with a Sinusoidal projection--at least at the boundaries of all land masses--requires each gore to extend no more than about 6 degrees from its central meridian: that would be 30 gores in each hemisphere, 60 total.
    – whuber
    Dec 10, 2012 at 17:19
  • Thank you Spacedman and Whuber. The globe is made from some kind of solid cardboard - not sure (I'll check and I'll try to post a picture, it's quite a nice and LARGE piece of work!). The stand itself is really nice.
    – Tioneb
    Dec 10, 2012 at 22:35
  • My uncle is a designer in a commercial printing factory so he should be able to handle that part. How would I work with GMT? Can I purchase the map / geographic data and input in GMT before getting the sinusoidal projections? Thanks again to everyone.
    – Tioneb
    Dec 10, 2012 at 22:46

try the nasa G. Projector software, which takes an equirectangular map and changes it to one of many different projections, including interrupted sinusiodal, which is what you need for a globe. print out that map, then cut it up yourself.

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