Geology, Geography, Astronomy - Globes
Downloadable for A4 (European/Japanese) and US letter the Canon 3D Papercraft - Globe is a great model that not only shows the continents and oceans but the interior of the Earths core as well!
If you are looking for something simpler try the other simple Globe from the Canon site. Much simpler to put together, it even has a tiny moon to the same scale! Don't let the simplicity of the construction fool you though - this is an excellent demonstration model for astronomy especially.
Continuing with the Geological theme, the USGS has a Tectonic Plate Globe. This one is half-way in between the two Canon Globes utilising the more traditional "vertical gores" to create a curved surface. This particular model is made easier by using a tennis ball as a base! This is also available from the Tau Rho Alpha site.
Why stop at a globe of the Earth? No discussion of Globes available on the internet would be complete with mentioning Mitchell Charitys' definitive website "Making globes of the planets" which not only has links to globes of all the planets and many of the moons, but is a goldmine on globemaking in general. One of the major links from here is to the USGS Maps & Globes Gallery. An honourable mention should go as well to the Japanese kansoku crafts website which has a Saturn and ring!
Of course, as we saw from the simple Canon Globe, a good idea of what we are trying to convey can be made without actually having to use a spherical shape - very hard for 2 dimensional paper to do accuately at the best of times! You could try the colourful hypergami globe or the Papera Arto site - Is this in Esperanto and Japanese? The Justsystem might be in Japanese but the photo instructions make it very easy to follow.
Why not use icosahedrons - 20-sided polyhedrons? Sounds complex but as you can see from Calvin J. Hamiltons' website, they are actually just equilateral triangles! ... once again you can build a whole solar system! ... Or you could try the 26 sided globes on the website of the ISAS (the Japanese Space Authority). They have Earth, Mars and Venus. The NASDA Moon Station has a series of Polyhedron globes of the solar system as well.
By the way - if you want to make some of the models but the instructions might be in a language that is foreign to you, try one of the Language conversion websites, such as Altavista Babelfish