How to Make a World Map to Fit on a Ball

Written by andrew kline | 13/05/2017
How to Make a World Map to Fit on a Ball
Get control of the world by fitting it onto a ball. (world image by Clark Duffy from

Making a world map to fit on a ball is a straightforward task if you happen to have a ball of the perfect size for taping on a map. But if your school project requires a world map on a small ball or if you want to give your piece an artistic touch, you can trace the world on paper and make specific cuts to fit any size ball. Whether it is a soccer ball, baseball or basketball, this project shouldn't take long if you have good drawing techniques and have a sense of scale.

Measure the circumference of the ball.

Figure out the diameter of the ball by dividing the circumference by pi (3.14) with your calculator.

Measure and cut out a piece of paper with a length of the ball's diameter and the width of the circumference.

Sketch the world onto the piece of paper.

Fold the map you've just drawn three times horizontally.

Unfold the map to see eight vertical sections.

Draw lines between each section.

Draw two opposing semicircles with your compass that intersect at the midpoint of the top-and-bottom sides of each folded section, to make gores.

Cut the spaces between the gores. You will have 16 sections and eight full gores on the map.

Place your map around the ball, with the Equator sitting along the ball's circumference.

Tape each end of the Equator of your map around the ball's circumference.

Glue each end of the gores at both the North and South Poles to make the globe.

Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Blue Marker
  • Green Marker
  • World Map
  • Scissors
  • Compass
  • Glue
  • Tape

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