Before the form of the earth was known to be that of a globe, every nation thought that their country occupied the center of the world, and a mere child could point out the precise spot—lake, mountain, or temple—which was supposed to be the middle of the earth.
Élisée Reclus (1883): The Earth and its inhabitants, Vol. Europe, p.306.
About Élisée Reclus
Élisée Reclus (1830–1905) loved studying the Earth and its inhabitants. He believed in fairness and equality for all, traveled to learn more, and made maps and wrote books about geography. He often thought about his "Great Globe” project, an interactive attraction teaching about the world's geography and its people.
World, Earth, globe, planet
The world is where we live. It includes the ground we walk on, the air we breathe, our memories and perceptions, and all the people, animals, and plants that live in eco-systems like rivers, woods, the ocean…
The Earth is the planet we live on. It’s a big ball of rock and water, and it's the only planet we know of that has living things like plants, animals, and people.
A globe is a model of the Earth that looks like a big ball. It shows us all the countries, oceans, and continents on Earth at the time when the globe was made. It's a fun way to learn about the world and where different places are located.
A planet is a big ball of rock or gas that floats in space. The Earth is a planet in our solar system, like Mars and Jupiter.
How do we perceive the world?
Do you know why most maps have a line running through a place called Greenwich, near London? The location of Europe and London determined the definition of this line, which is called the prime meridian of the world. Every place in the world is defined by its distance from it. For centuries it has been essential for navigation and travel.
Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) is a special time used around the world. It helps us know what time it is in different places. Time zones are like large areas of the world that are on the same time. Do you know what time zone you’re in? Have you ever traveled to and from other time zones?
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In the 1700s and 1800s, explorers like von Humboldt and La Pérouse traveled for years to learn about new places. Their courage and curiosity helped us understand the world better.
The World in 80 days
Jules Verne’s adventure tale Around the World in Eighty Days popularized the idea of visiting many countries in one trip. There were no airplanes back then. People traveled by train, steamship, and other forms of transportation available in the late 19th century.
Selma Lagerlöf wrote a classic children's book called The Wonderful Adventures of Nils. In the story, a boy travels on the back of a goose, taking his time to explore Sweden's regions, cultures, and landscapes. That's what slow travel is all about! Where would you like to slow travel?
Want to know more?
Bibliogaphy and further reading
ELISEE RECLUS AND HIS PERFECT GLOBE PROJECT
Correspondance et papiers d’Élisée Reclus. (1830-1905). VIII Projet de construction de globe terrestre pour l’Exposition de 1900. (1801). Available on Europeana :https://www.europeana.eu/de/item/9200519/ark__12148_btv1b10085916c
Alavoine-Muller. (2003). A globe for the Universal Exhibition of 1900. The geographical utopia of Élisée Reclus. Espace géographique, 32(2), 156–170. https://www.cairn-int.info/article-E_EG_322_0156--a-globe-for-the-universal-exhibition-of.htm de Tholozany, P. (2011). Paris Capital of the 19th Century - The Expositions universelles in 19th Century Paris. Retrieved from https://library.brown.edu/cds/paris/worldfairs.html#de1900
Ferretti. (2010). The Reclus and Hachette publishers: the first agency of French geography? Espace géographique, 39(3), 239–252. https://www.cairn-int.info/article-E_EG_393_0239--the-reclus-and-hachette-publishers-the-f.htm
Ferretti. (2014). Pioneers in the history of cartography: the Geneva map collection of Élisée Reclus and Charles Perron. Journal of Historical Geography, 43(1), 85–95. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhg.2013.10.025
Reclus. (1871). The Earth: a descriptive history of the phenomena of the life of the Globe ... (The Ocean, Atmosphere and Life; being the second series of A descriptive history of the phenomena of the life of the Globe, etc.) Translated by ... B. B. Woodward and edited by H. Woodward ... Illustrated, etc. [electronic resource]. Available on Europeana: http://www.europeana.eu/de/item/2059209/data_sounds_ark__81055_vdc_00000005B854
Reclus. (1873-94) The World and its inhabitants. Europe I, Europe II, Europe III, North America, South America I, South America II, Oceanica, Africa. Digital collection made available through the Biodiversity Heritage Libraty.
Reclus. (1898). A Great Globe. The Geographical Journal, 12(4), 401–406. https://doi.org/10.2307/1774765
Reclus. (1901). The teaching of geography: globes, discs and reliefs.
QUOTES BY ELISEE RECLUS USED IN THE DIGITAL ASSET HOT SPOTS
Suez Canal, Egypt: Reclus, E. (1876-1894). The earth and its inhabitants (Vols. 1-19). D. Appleton and Company. Vol. Africa, Egypt, p. 454
Ecuador, Esmalraldas Province: Reclus, E. (1876-1894). The earth and its inhabitants (Vols. 1-19). D. Appleton and Company. Vol. South America, Ecuador, p.240 Galapagos Archipelagos: Reclus, E. (1876-1894). The earth and its inhabitants (Vols. 1-19). D. Appleton and Company.Vol. South America, Peru,/ Galapagos Islands.
New Zealand: Reclus, E. (1876-1894). The earth and its inhabitants (Vols. 1-19). D. Appleton and Company. Vol. Oceanica, New Zealand p.440 Yellow Stone National Park: Reclus, E. (1876-1894). The earth and its inhabitants (Vols. 1-19). D. Appleton and Company. vol. North America, United States, p.472. London, the Docks on the Thames River: Reclus, E. (1876-1894). The earth and its inhabitants (Vols. 1-19). D. Appleton and Company. Vol. I Europe, United Kingdom, p.149.: Belgique, Hollande, Îles britanniques. Mount Vesuvius/Mont Vultur: Reclus, E. (1876-1894). The earth and its inhabitants (Vols. 1-19). D. Appleton and Company. vol. I Europe, Italy, Naples.
PLANETS, GLOBES AND MAPS
Belisle, Brooke. (2015). Nature at a Glance: Immersive Maps from Panoramic to Digital. Early Popular Visual Culture, 13(4), 313–335. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17460654.2015.1111590 Belisle, Brooke. (2020). Whole World Within Reach: Google VR. Journal of Visual Culture, 19(1), 112–136. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1470412920909990
Bibliothèque nationale de France. (2020). The world of sphères. 2’500 years of the history of the representation of the Earth and the universe. Virtual exhibition: http://expositions.bnf.fr/monde-en-spheres/en/the-world-of-spheres/index.html
Chaplin, Joyce E. (2012). Round About the Earth: Circumnavigation from Magellan to Orbit. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Cosgrove, Denis. (2001). Apollo’s Eye: A Cartographic Genealogy of the Earth in the Western Imagination. Baltimore/London: Johns Hopkins University Press.
de Luca, Tiago. (2018). Earth Networks: The Human Surge and Cognitive Mapping. NECSUS, 7(2), 121–140. https://necsus-ejms.org/earth-networks-the-human-surge-and-cognitive-mapping/
Demos, T. J. (2017). Against the Anthropocene: Visual Culture and Environment Today. Berlin: Stenberg Press.
Hanley, Keith, & Kucich, Greg (Eds.). (2008). Nineteenth-Century Worlds: Global Formations Past and Present. London/New York: Routledge.
Heise, Ursula K. (2008). Sense of Place and Sense of Planet: The Environmental Imagination of the Global. New York: Oxford University Press.
Mirzoeff, Nicholas. (2016). How to See the World: An Introduction to Images, from Self Portraits to Selfies, Maps to Movies, and More. New York: BasicBooks.
Peppoloni, Di Capua, G., & Di Capua, G. (Giuseppe). (2022). Geoethics : manifesto for an ethics of responsibility towards the Earth. Springer Nature Switzerland AG.
Poole, Robert. (2008). Earthrise: How Man First Saw the Earth. New Haven/London: Yale University Press.
Rocher, Y. (2017). Globes : architecture et sciences explorent le monde. Paris: Norma.
Walton, Geri (2020) Wyld’s Great Globe: A 1850s and 1860s London Attraction - Geri Walton
WAYS OF VIEWING THE WORLD
Bates, Marston. (1990). The Nature of Natural History. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Berger, John. (2009). About Looking. London: Bloomsbury.
Boon, Timothy. (2008). Films of Fact: A History of Science and Documentary Films and Television. London/New York: Wallflower Press.
Kearton, Cherry. (1923). Photographing Wild Life Across the World. London: J.W. Arrowsmith.
Mattelart, Armand. (2000). Networking the World, 1794–2000. (L. Carey-Libbrecht & J. A. Cohen, Trans.). Minneapolis/London: University of Minnesota Press.
Mitchell, Timothy. (1989). The World as Exhibition. Comparative Studies in Society and History, 31(2), 217–236. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0010417500015802
Peterson, Jennifer Lynn. (2013). Education in the School of Dreams: Travelogues and Early Nonfiction Film. Durham/London: Duke University Press.
Copyright and licenses
Digital asset in the explore section
Suez Canal: PortSaid_Canal_1880.jpg (800×360) (wikimedia.org) Édouard Riou, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Esmalraldas Province: The_earth_and_its_inhabitants_(1894)_(14579925847).jpg (2976×2060) (wikimedia.org) Reclus, Elisée, 1830-1905; Ravenstein, Ernest George, 1834-1913; Keane, A. H. (Augustus Henry), 1833-1912, No restrictions, via Wikimedia Commons
Galapagos Archipelagos: Internet Archive Book Images, No restrictions, via Wikimedia Commons.
New Zealand: The Legend of the voyage to New Zealand (1912) Rotorua_Museum,_Maori_arrival.jpg (3864×2039) (wikimedia.org) Kenneth Watkins, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. Open data access viy the Rotorua Maori Museum.
Yellowstone National Park: 1864_Johnson_Map_of_Washington,_Oregon,_and_Idaho_-_Geographicus_-_OregonWashingtonIdaho-johnson-1864.jpg (3500×2804) (wikimedia.org) Alvin Jewett Johnson, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
London, the Docks: Musée Albert Kahn | Portail des collections | Londres , Angleterre Les docks vus du pont de Londres , au fond le Tower Bridge (hauts-de-seine.fr). With courtesy of the Musée Albert Kahn / Archives of humanity open-dats photograohic collection.
Mount Vesuvius: File:Napoli Mount Vesuvius 1858 engraving.jpg - Wikimedia Commons McLeod, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons