Measuring Distance on a Globe

To measure the distance between any two points on the globe, take a piece of string or strip of paper and stretch it tight between the two places. Measure the distance and multiply the number of inches in your measurement with the appropriate number of miles shown below:

Size of Globe Distance Measurement
9 inch Globe: 1 inch = 880 miles
12 inch Globe: 1 inch = 660
16 inch Globe: 1 inch = 500

As an example, on a 12 inch globe the distance from Boston to London measures five inches. Five inches x 660 miles = 3,300 miles, so the distance from Boston to London is about 3,300 miles.


The path of the Earth around the Sun is called the Earth's orbit. This orbit lies on an imaginary flat surface that cuts through the center of the sun and the center of the Earth. This surface is called the orbital plane.


The Earth's axis is an imaginary line passing through the center of the Earth from the North Pole to the South Pole. This axis does not point straight up form the orbital plane. I tilts about 23 1/2 degrees from the straight up position. This tilt is called the angle of inclination (Figure 3) and it remains constant, always tilted in the same direction, This is the reason that the northern tip of the Earth's axis (the North Pole) is always pointed toward the same part of the sky, the North Star.

Learn about the Earth's motion.

Learn how globes show time measurement.

Learn about the analemma.

Learn about the influences of sun and heat on the earth, global warming.