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We propose a new object descriptor for three dimensional data named the Global Structure Histogram (GSH). The GSH encodes the structure of a local feature response on a coarse global scale, providing a beneficial trade-off between generalization and discrimination. Encoding the structural characteristics of an object allows us to retain low local variations while keeping the benefit of global representativeness. In an extensive experimental evaluation, we applied the framework to category-based object classification in realistic scenarios. We show results obtained by combining the GSH with several different local shape representations, and we demonstrate significant improvements to other state-of-the-art global descriptors.