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May 22, 2011

World Map Stained Glass Dome (Mapparium Building - Boston, MA)

Located in the Christian Science Center in Boston, The Mapparium is a spherical stained glass room that depicts as a map of the world with political borders from 1935. The hard spherical surface of the globe reflects sound and produces striking acoustical effects. It forms a remarkable whispering gallery so that visitors standing at corresponding locations near opposite ends the bridge can speak to each other and be heard as if they were standing next to each other. The Mapparium was designed to allow the countries of the world to be viewed in accurate geographical relationship to each other. It is usually assumed that a globe solves this problem; but since it is viewed from the outside, different parts of the globe are at different distances from the eye and are thus distorted by perspective. 


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