Geo-cosmos, an interactive globe in 10 million pixels
April 27, 2014 5:53 AM   Subscribe

Geo-Cosmos is one of the three interactive features that are part of the Tsunagari display at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, simply known as the Miraikan, in Tokyo. Geo-Cosmos consists of OLED squares configured a 6m (~19.7 ft) diameter spherical display of over 10 million pixels, which can map out clouds as captured by weather satellites, the expanding effects of the March 11 earthquake in Japan (Audience video), or pretty much anything you want to see on a spherical display.
posted by filthy light thief (5 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
My kids and I spent a day at the Miraikan when we were in Tokyo in 2004. It is the most astounding science museum I've ever seen. We saw the Honda robot perform, learned about maglev suspension over superconductors, and did some VR. They also have this incredible mechanical representation of TCP/IP packet transmission. It is worth a trip to Japan for this museum alone.
posted by pashdown at 6:15 AM on April 27, 2014

I want a Geo-Cosmos for my house, I could spend hours lost playing with all three of these features.
posted by arcticseal at 6:34 AM on April 27, 2014

Wow, a giant Gantz sphere!
posted by Tom-B at 8:35 AM on April 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

I immediately thought of Buckminster Fuller's proposal to create a giant spherical map of the Earth, which would be covered with lights and able to display global data. His would have been called the "Geoscope," so the choosing of Geo-Cosmos as the name for this display does seem to indicate homage. At the time of Fuller's design, the surface of the Earth had been for the first time nearly completely mapped by aerial photography, and the true polar coordinates of each of these photographs precisely mapped. He would have used these photographs to depict the planet's surface, but the increasing availability of high-quality satellite imagery is a great reason why his idea is coming to fruition today.

I'm so glad to see this being realized. Seeing this in person would probably be as close to the astronaut's "Overview Effect" as one could get without actually leaving the Earth.
posted by StrangerInAStrainedLand at 10:38 AM on April 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

For the record, I first saw the Geo-cosmos in a NASA image of the day. For some reason, the NASA link isn't working, but here's a re-post with the image in question, which depicts "President Barack Obama and astronaut Soichi Noguchi [hearing] a message from International Space Station astronauts Steve Swanson, Koichi Wakata and Rick Mastracchio at Miraikan, national museum for emerging science and innovation on April 24, 2014 in Tokyo, Japan." Geo-cosmos is just a backdrop, as it is in this image from Obama's remarks at Miraikan. At least he did get a demonstration of the Geo-cosmos.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:58 AM on April 30, 2014

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