Thursday August 14, 2003

The OmniGlobe is a large acrylic sphere up to 2 metres in diameter that contains a high-intensity projector in its supporting base. The globe is used to display any type of data that fits well into this format with the benefit of being able to display animations, flip between any scene in the data library or rotate, tilt or zoom-in on the image instantaneously.

The OmniGlobe is an interactive 360-degree display system with the only obscured spot on the sphere being a small area at the top. As well as being suitable for viewing global imagery of Earth and other planets, more complex vision can be created and streamed to the OmniGlobe.

A convex reflecting element developed over three years by ARC Science Simulations enables the projector to focus on the spherical screen. The screen itself is an acrylic shell coated with a "rear projection" type vinyl film.

The first OmniGlobe installation was at the Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis, Indiana where a four-minute animation showing the last 600 million years of the Earth's plate tectonics was displayed.

Apart from OmniGlobe applications in museums and science centres, the OmniGlobe is adaptable to a wide range of fields according to ARC. These include remote sensing and weather forecasting or in the classroom as an education aid, where data showing anything from the history of global politics stretching back to Ancient Egyptian times to an animation of the paths taken by great explorers.