Pál Kovács — Dr. Mátyás Márton:



In: Csáti Ernő (szerk.): Hungarian Cartographical Studies. Hungarian National Comitte, International Cartographic Association, Budapest, 1989



Historical background


The Institute of Relief Maps (Domborművű Térképészeti Műintézet) was established in 1927 by István Turner, a cartographer. The institute began to produce globes in 1930; the first globes had a diameter of 11 cm and 17 cm, while a year later 20 and 25 cm globes were already on sale. The biggest piece of the series was a 40 cm political globe.


It was Turner’s institute that produced the first Hungarian relief globe in 1930. This globe, ;which showed the physical geographical features of the Earth, was compiled with the contribution of Károly Kogutowicz,—a professor at the university of the town of Szeged. The globe presented not only the elements of relief, but also showed —the ocean currents and international boundaries. The relief globe was printed in seven colours and was a unique demonstration aid for teachers of geography. Its political version was published after 1937.


Turner’s institute also made illuminated globes in various sizes. The multi-colour products were printed by the (Royal) State Mapping Institute of Hungary (Magyar Királyi Állami Térképészeti Intézet).


The Institute of Relief Maps was nationalized after 1945, its name changed to Capital Neon (Fővárosi Neon), first and later to Educational Equipment Saling Enterprise (Iskolai Felszereléseket Értékesitő Vállalat or IFÉRT). The globes were published until 1951 on the basis of modificating the old products: the changes that occured after World War II were added and the spelling of most popular names was corrected.


The first pieces of the new series were made in 1953; Lajos Füsi, also contributed to the compilation work. The cartographic execution of the 11, 20, 25 and 40 cm diameter physical and political (different countries tinted in different colours) globes was stopped by the mid - 1950s, but they were continuously produced until 1957; thereafter, 40 cm globes were.only on sale by IFÉRT for schools.

Globes had to be imported by Cartographia to meet the needs of general public.


Technology of globes production


In the traditional technology the globe consists of the ball itself and its cover. The. ball may be made of papier-maché, gypsum, glass, plastic, etc. The map cover is normally printed on good quality paper, which is then cut into segments and manually mounted on the ball. In the case of semiplastic globes only the ball is made of plastic. In modern globes production the map eontent is printed on the plastic sheets that are then formed into globes (usually into two semi-globes).


The globes may be divided into two types:


– In the case of self-supporting plastic globes the information is printed on thick plastic, therefore, the plastic globe is stable and needs no additional base. (This type includes, for instance, the globes made in the USSR by the Main Administration for Geodesy and Cartography).


– When the map is printed on plastic foil, the material is unable to sustain itself as a.globe, therefore, a plastic ball is placed thereunder. (E.g., the globes of the Danish firm, SCAN.) Both types of globes are collectively known as plastic globes.


In the early 1960s, a series of experiments was started to produce plastic base globes at the Department of Cartography, Lóránd Eötvös University of Sciences, under the guidance of Lajos Füsi:


An outstanding piece of this work — made in 1966 — is a 212 cm diameter illuminated relief globe, which was hand coloured. This product is exhibited in the Transport Museum of Budapest. Further, successful products followed in 1966: a 50 cm diameter illuminated geophysical globe, and another 50 cm relief globe that presented submarine relief as well. These single, plastic base globes — but not completely made of plastic — are on display at the Department of Cartography. Experiments on the large scale production of plastic globes were also started in the early 1970s, although several problems were successfully solved, the work stopped in the mid-1970s.


Production of globes at Cartographia


The technical and technological conditions for globes production were only available by the mid-1960s at the Cartographic Enterprise. The production process — outdated by now — has not been basically changed since its experimental introduction in 1965/66. The process of globes production may be divided into three phases: — Production of the ball and the frame, Cartographic work (ineluding printing), — Mounting of the cartographic product (coloured map) onto the ball and other work (such as gelling, lacquering, framing, packing etc.).


At the beginning — appr. in the period 1966—1975 —, Cartographia tried to undertake all three phases. However, the number of products made this way was not enough for the home market either. Although the production technology was not basically modernized, the solution of several minor problems led to a significant rise in globes production.


This quantitative development dates back to 1973/74, when the parts of the 13 cm globe were made of plastic and by injection moulding. ln 1974/75 in. the case of 25 cm diameter globes production, the parts were also made by using this technology; later, an agreement was achieved with TEXGRÁF an industrial cooperative to produce 40—45 thousand balls annually. This cooperation solved the problem of the mass production of balls and, on —the other hand, TEXGRÁF undertook the labour—intensive and time consuming job of mounting.


The Enterprise was almost able to fulfill the home demand for globes in three categories: 13 cm political, 25 cm political and 25 cm illuminated globes.


Scattered data are only available on the early period of production. These three types of globes were produced appr. in 1500 pieces annually after 1966. Around 1974, some 4—5 thousand pieces of 25 cm and 7—8 thousand pieces of 13 cm globes were made by Cartographia. In 1976, homever, 10,000 pieces of 13 cm and 7,000 of 25 cm globes were already produced. The latter one also included more than 650 pieces of illuminated globes. There are exact figures available from 1977 on the globes on sale in Hungary and produced by Cartographia.


Number of produced globes

Export of globes


A significant increase in the export of globes is observable after 1984. The 25 cm political globe and its illuminated version, and the 16 cm physical globe are on sale abroad too; they all are exported in English, German and Czech versions. The 16 cm Czech language political, and·the 16 cm Polish language physical globes were added in 1985. The 25 cm diameter physical globe is also available in English, German and Czech languages since 1986.


Map content of the globes


As the globes — together with their map content — ordered by TANÉRT are products of the Cartographic Enterprise, they are also reviewed in this part of the present paper. The map content of globes will be described according to their publication order.


All globes present the Earth with a grid of l0°, and show the two Tropics and Aretic circles too. Evidently, they present the coastline and hydrography (rivers, lakes, reservoirs) of continents and major islands.


All political globes show the international boundaries and the maritime boundaries; the surface of countries is tinted, the oceans are uniformly presented light blue. (The general elements of maps will not be repeatedly described in the description of individual globes.)


The political globes do not show relief; the only exception is the illuminated version of the 25 cm diameter globe. In this case, grey hill shading is printed over the continents on the reverse side of the map of the normal globe (the printing is accurately adjusted to the facing side); on maritime areas the shading betwen 3000 and 6000 m depth is light blue, on those deeper than 6000 m dark blue. This way, when the lamp inside the ball is switched on, the globe shows the unlighted political map and the uniform light blue ocean areas as well as the shaded picture of continental relief and the zone-coloured ocean depths.


The first version of the 40 cm diameter PHYSICAL GLOBE was made by the Cartographic Enterprise in 1961 for the order of the Institute of Educational Aids (Iskolai Szemléltető Eszközök Intézete, or ISZEI); later, in about 1975, a similar globe — odered by TANÉRT — was produced for teachers. The latter globe was basically modified in 1980/81; cold and warm ocean currents and the intersection of the surface line of the plane of the Ecliptic (celestial equator) with the Zodiac etc. were added. Eight colours were used in printing the map: dark blue, light blue, dark brown, ochre, yellow, green, red and black. Its relief representation — particularly on ocean areas — is already outdated. On this globe colours were used for the hypsometric layers between the isolines of 5000, 2000, 500, 200, 0, (land below sea level), –200, –2000, –4000 and –6000 m; these coloured layers — without printing their isolines — serve as the relief base, which is added with hill shading over the continents.


The 13 cm PHYSICAL GLOBE — ordered by ISZEI — was made in the early 1960s as a demonstration part of a tellurium model. (The tellurium is a physical—astronomical demonstration aid that shows the annual run of the Earth around the Sun; the instrument is used to present the changes of seasons, the changes of the length of daylight, the occurrences of eclipses of the Moon and the Sun.) The compilation of the globe was started in 1961 by the reduction of the content of the 40 cm globe. The elements of its content and the number of applied colours are identical.


The 13 cm POLITICAL GLOBE was partly based on the relief version (grid, coastline, hydrography). Its compilation began in the first half of the 1960s, while the globe was published in 1966. Six eolours were used in its printing: dark blue, light blue, red, yellow, green and black. In addition to general map elements, the map also presented settlements according to classification (towns over 1,000,000 inhabitants, other towns, the capital were enhanced underlined), polar research stations, transportation lines (railways, shipping routes, air routes). Its last publication was in 1982; this globe was replaced by the 16 cm political globe in 1983.


The 25 cm POLITICAL GLOBE was made in 1966. Its content was continuously corrected, while it was basically revised in 1982, when the complete lettering was changed. At present, the Enterprise produces this globe in five languages; Hungarian: 1966 - 10; English: 1984 - 2; German: 1984 - 3; Czech: 1984 - 4+ Polish: 1987 - 2. (Here and later the language is followed by the year of first edition and the number of editions.)


This globe is printed in six colours: dark blue, light blue, yellow, red, pink and black. (In the case of the illuminated version, the reverse side receives two additional colours: grey and dark blue.) In addition to general map elements, the map content includes the settlements according to various categories (inhabitants over 1,000,000, between 500,000—1,000,000, 100,000—500,000, 50,000—100,000, under 50,000, where the capitals and the seats of dependent territories are marked underlined), polar research stations, major railway lines.


The 16 cm PHYSICAL GLOBE was made for primary schools in parallel with the revision of the 40 cm teacher's physical globe in 1980/81. Accordingly, their content is in harmony. In contrast with the other globes ordered by TANÉRT, for which the Cartographic Enterprise produces and supplies the map cover only, these globes are mounted and completed by the Cartographic Enterprise. However, their Hungarian version for schools is not-distributed by the Cartographic Enterprise. The globe is produced in several languages (Hungarian: 1981 - 2; English: 1984 - 2; German: 1984 - 3; Polish: 1985 - 3; Czech: 1985 - 2).


The 40 cm diameter POLITICAL GLOBE was made in 1983, and it is partly based on the content of the physical globe (grid, coastline, hydrography). The political elements of the map content are synchronized with that of the 25 cm globe, but it also presents the routes of air and shipping transport. Its colours are also different. The globe has eight colours (dark blue, light blue, red, green, lilac, yellow, ochre and black), and was produced for the order of TANÉRT. ·


The 16 cm POLITICAL GLOBE was made in parallel with the 40 cm political globe. In its compilation the basic elements of the 16 cm physical globe were used (grid, coastline, hydrography). This globe is produced in colours: dark blue, light blue, red, yellow, ochre and black. It can be regarded as a relative of the 25 cm globes after its contect. The globe has two versions (Hungarian: 1983 - 3; Czech: 1985 -2).


The 10 cm diameter POLITICAL GLOBE was and was ordered by TANÉRT in 1985, it was reduced and derived from the 16 cm globe. This means.that these globes are relatives by their content. TANÉRT distributes the globe for the general public and not for educational institutions. It has two versions (Hungarian: 1985 - 2; English: 1986 - 1).


The compilation of the 25 cm PHYSICAL GLOBE began in 1985. It was simultaneously prepared in four languages (Hungarian, German, English and Czech: 1986 - 2). This is the most modern globe made in Hungary concerning the representation of the continental and submarine relief. (The fullness of submarine relief on the globe highly surpasses the details of the ocean maps at the same scale included in the “Great World Atlas” of Cartographia, published in 1985. This improvement is based on the use of new base materials, selection of proper legend, and on recent research and its practical applications.)


The isolines printed on the new 25 cm globe — 5000, 3000, 1500, 1000, 500, 200, 0, (land below sea level), –200, –1000, –2000, –3000, –4000, –5000, –6000 and –7000 m — are sometimes added with auxiliary or supplementary contour lines over ocean areas. A picturesque relief representation is supported by the application of hypsometric colouring over the continents and oceans and the uniform hill shading. Another novelty compared with earlier practice is the use of a greenish tone with restrained blue for ocean areas between 2—3000 and 3—4000 m zones; the application of this colour combination enhances the ridges and the lower levels of continental slopes. This is why the large structural units — continental shelves, deep sea basins, ridges — are expressively shown on the globe. Eight colours were used: dark blue, light blue, light yellow, grey, black, red, brown and green.


The 40 cm diameter DISMOUNTABLE STRUCTURAL—MORPHOLOGICAL EARTH MODEL is the latest globe produced in 1986 upon the order of TANÉRT. This is the first Hungarian thematic globe that was published in a large series.



The idea originates from dr. LAJOS HAJDÚ, a geography teacher in the town of Debrecen, who accepted the suggestions by the authors of the resent paper concerning the improvement of the content and the practicability of the globe. The improvements were as follows:


– The Earth model shows the new submarine relief compiled for the 25 crn physical globe and not that of the 40 cm teacher's globe, because the contours of plate boundaries are advantageously supplernented with the new representation of sea depths, and the relationship between relief and plate boundaries is clearly expressed.


– A new plate tectonic profile was drawn along the plane of the equator covering a longitude of 180°; this figure is able to present both the active — subductive — and passive continental shelves.


– The contour lines over continental areas were printed in restrained grey on the thematic content, which help the understanding of relationships between the plate boundaries on continents and relief.


– Continental and ocean areas hill shading in uniform restrained grey; this process helped eliminating the basic problem of the globe; namely, the lands were dominated by the theme of structure and morphology, while the picture of seas was dominated by relief features. (Dr. Lajos Hajdú could not accept the propusal for a uniform representation of structure and morphology both for land s and oceans.)


– The explanations of signs were placed on an inside profile of the globe, because they can not be lost there.


Several new questions had to be answered while compiling the Earth model; these problems arose from the cutting of the ball along the equator and the meridian. In a joint venture, Cartographia made the ball cover and the inner profiles; TANÉRT produced the balls and made the mounting as well.·


The outer cover of the globe represents the structure and morphology of continents and the subrnarine relief according to the ocean features representation of the 25 cm physical globe (hypsornetric layers are coloured and their contour lines arc also visible). The expressiveness of relief on continents is supported by the contour lines printed grey and the grey hi11 shading uniform over lands and seas; the grey colour does not disturb the thematic content. The globe has a uniform symbols system that shows the boundaries of lithosphere plates on the whole Earth and that can distinguish approaching, departing and shifting plate shelves.


The profiles contain information on the internal structure of the Earth. The first profile shows the development of theories on the inner build-up of the Earth from the model of Suess in 1896 to the astrophysical Earth model by the Hungarian scientist, László Egyed in 1955. The second profile presents the velocity of seismic waves, the changes in the pressure and density from the surface to the centre of the Earth. The third profile shows temperature values, changes in the chemical composition, different surface boundaries defined by various seismic investigations, and the scale—true internal structure from the surface to the Earth's centre (lithosphere, astenosphere, mezosphere etc.) according to the theory of plate tectonics.


The fourth profile explains the relationship — between the central angles of the sphere as a geometric figure and the geographical latitudes. The fifth profile shows the plate tectonic model in the equatorial plane down to the mezosphere with elevation distortion; the information can be explicitly corresponded to the content of the map cover, the relief, structure and morphology. It gives an easy view of the growing thickness of the crust under continents, the relationship between the ocean plates intruding under the continents and the deep sea trenches and volcanism in continents. The sixth profile contains the explanation of symbols. The other profiles — the same figures without inscriptions — are useful in controlling the pupils' understanding of the subject.


The cover of the ball and the map sections that contain the symbols were parallel printed in eight colours: dark blue, light blue, dark yellow, light yellow, red, brown, grey and black. The sheet of profiles was also printed in eight colours: light blue, red, brown, dark yellow, orange, green, purple and black. Due to the large number of joining edges, the mounting of the globe requires special attention and highly precise work.


In 1988, also upon the order of TANÉRT, the English language version of the Earth model was produced by the Cartographia.




Cartographia had established the conditions for its independent globes production by the mid-1960s. The experimental production started in 1965/66 became outdated by now; although the method was not basically modernized, significant achievements were produced concerning the content value of globes, their aesthetic picture and the growth of quantity.


In the second half of the 1960s three types of globes were made in Hungarian, while in 1989 the Enterprise produces globes in five types and diameters in 21 language versions. In addition, the Cartographic Enterprise produces seven versions of five different thematic and diametric globes for the order of National Educational Aids Producing and Distributing Enterprise; they are mostly used in education.