Making a globe has to start with a map. The best source I had for this was Google Maps, so I painstakingly took screenshots and merged them together to create a map of the world.
Google Maps uses a Mercator projection. Before it can be useful as a template for making a globe, it needs to be massaged into a shape that we can trace onto a sphere.
A gore is a segment of a three-dimensional shape fabricated from a two-dimensional material. We need to transform this Google map to look something more like this:
|The gores of Waldseemüller's 1509 globe of the world|
First, transform to a equirectangular projection. I did this using a photoshop plugin called Flexify 2 which I was able to get to run under GIMP.
I found a page which has a satellite image of earth with 12 gores (as well as images for other planets), but I want political boundaries for my globe so this doesn't help. However, that page also has a link to a perl script which can transform an image into gores. I used this perl script to generate a map with 36 gores.
With some careful scaling, this can then be printed and traced onto the surface of a sphere using carbon paper.