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The editors of Sky & Telescope based this unique globe of our home planet on NASA satellite imagery and other data. Sky & Telescope's art department combined two separate datasets: one showing Earth's landmasses very close to their natural color and the other depicting the fascinating topography hidden underwater. After they combined the land and water data sets into a single flat map, they next needed to convert that map into projections that could be wrapped around a 3-dimensional globe. Cartographer Michael Zeiler created these projections using ArcGIS software by Esri. The result is a globe that shows all of Earth's major geographical features, both on land and under the waves.
Sky & Telescope purposefully limited the labels to major geographical features to preserve the globe's natural beauty, and to give a sense of what Earth looks like from outer space.