Features of the iGlobe/MIT software
Content Management - The software renders 2:1 movie and image files on the fly, and displays them correctly on the sphere.
A menu is displayed on the controller which gives access to archived dataset directories such as NOAA's Science on a Sphere, and the sphere depicted on the controller allows for on the fly rotation of the data.
Dual-screen - You can use a flat screen to display related content to that being shown on the sphere. This includes:
A descriptive page explaining what is being shown. A sequence of slides such as a Powerpoint/ Keynote presentation with the slides changing at specified points. Animated graphs showing, for example, things like total Arctic ice extent while the sphere shows the spatial distribution at the same time
Scripting - This allows you to set up a whole sequence of sphere and flat screen content you want to show and let it run unattended.
More flexibility in content - You can stream movies or single images over the internet rather than needing them to be stored on the computer. This is used for real-time images and movies. This feature can be very useful for previewing. You can build a movie as a sequence of images packaged together in a .zip file.
Browser control - The software is controlled by a browser rather than a specialized app, so you can use it from a laptop, tablet, or a smartphone. It shows both the globe image for controlling the positioning of the sphere image and the directory of content. You can also build customized web pages which can start movies; for classes or events, then, you can have the content page just point to the material you want to show in the sequence you want. The web pages can be on any server.
a) Countries: click on a country on the map and see it highlighted on the sphere with the name printed on the browser.
b) Gapminder: retrieve a data set from gapminder.org; click on a country to see a plot of the data with the country highlighted.
c) Global Forecast System: retrieve and display current and forecast information
d) Virtual balloons: click to launch a set of balloons from the selected position; these travel for 16 days using the forecast winds.
iGlobe server - We are building up a server which has tools you can use for creating content.
a) On-line: At present, we have examples for gathering it from Gapminder and from on-line data repositories such as the Lamont-Dougherty IRIDS system with environmental data as well as from the Global Forecast System used by weather forecasters.
b) csv files: Images can be made from comma-separated-value files, generally created and readable by spreadsheets. These include events (latitudes and longitudes and times [frame numbers] which generate dots with specified sizes and colors at the point), countries/ states/ internet-codes which can generate dots or filled in countries, maps which work from data tables of values versus latitude and longitude.
c) Drawing: You can draw on a map, add lettering, and display the resulting image.
d) Programs: we have have programs in Python and Octave for creating images from data; you can use these as templates for what you want to do.
e)Other fun things: We have a routine for ”sprites” which allows you to specify the base images, and the locations, sizes, and transparencies of a collection of sprites. The movies-in-movies routine allows showing one movie in a window on the sphere which is playing another movie.