Back in the day… before everyone had Google Maps on their phones or a navigation system built into their cars a company called DeLorme made these things called maps. They even pioneered maps on CD-ROM (Google it, you youngsters) and worked on GPS technology. And when they company built their headquarters in Yarmouth, Maine, they also built the world’s largest rotating globe. Makes complete sense for a map company.
Eartha was completed in 1998 and she’s a three-story marvel. You can visit her for free anytime that the building is open, but you can also view Eartha from the street thanks to the giant glass windows on the outside of the building.
And this rotating globe really is something to see. I grew up in Portland, Maine, which is about 20 minutes or so South of Yarmouth, and despite the fact that I’d moved when this opened, I remember seeing Eartha in the late 90s and being super impressed by this imposing rotating globe. I was also really impressed by the DeLorme map shop that used to be located in the lobby. They had a huge selection of really unique maps and memorabilia that was truly remarkable. I had a favorite map that had been destroyed in a moved (which I’d purchased in this shop) and was hoping to get a new one when I visited this summer. But it’s been a number of years since I’ve driven by Eartha during business hours, so was sad to discover the store was longer operating.
But while the map store is gone, and DeLorme got purchased by Garmin and isn’t at this building any more, Eartha is still happily standing. Some fun facts about Eartha (that I gleaned from the posters around the building lobby). Earth was designed and constructed by DeLorme staff members. Eartha is at a 1:1,000,000 scale, which means one inch of Eartha is equivalent to about 16 miles on Earth. Eartha’s “skeleton’ is an omni-span truss sculpture and is made out of 6,120 pieces of aluminum tubing that when laid end-to-end would be nearly three miles long. Eartha is made up of 792 panels, each are 8 degrees latitude by 10 degrees longitude. Eartha’s circumference is 130.91 feet and the surface area is 5.542 square feet. Earth is 42 feet in diameter and rotates on its axis at 23.5 degrees.
You don’t need to memorize those facts in order to appreciate Eartha. And while you visit (if you are there while the building is open), make sure to walk up the stairs (or take the elevator) to get a cool view of Eartha from above.
If you want to visit Eartha, head to DeLorme Drive, Yarmouth. You can’t miss the building!
See more of Eartha in my TikTok video.