All three options are viable and have their place in the right environment and application.
TourGuide lets you create interactive spherical touch screen media mashups for the Magic Planet. In other words it lets you take global images and animations; add interactive hot spots and links anywhere on the globe; then attach media to the links. It’s an easy-to-use tool designed to build interactive applications for the Magic Planet.
People pay attention longest when they’re in control – when they’re interacting to see and hear your story in the order they want, the way they want. Many Magic Planet customers already provide a touchscreen so visitors can control their Magic Planet exhibit or display. TourGuide takes Magic Planet interactivity to the next level. With TourGuide, it’s easy to build interactive Magic Planet applications where visitors interact directly with the Magic Planet using a mouse, trackball or other input device.
TourGuide provides an intuitive GUI that lets you choose the images or animations you want to display on the Magic Planet. With a few mouse clicks you can add links on the Magic Planet that let users: navigate through your story; show a photo; run a slide show; play an audio track; play a movie; stream live media across the web (e.g. Internet TV stations and webcams); play YouTube or Flash videos; display HTML pages or pop-ups; show Google Earth or Microsoft Virtual Earth images; etc. TourGuide offers one of the broadest range of media types of any mashup tool.
For example, if you wanted to create an interactive story about how species are affected by global warming, you might add a link that plays a global simulation of rising temperatures on the Magic Planet, as well as links located where affected species might be found (e.g. a link in the arctic for polar bears in the arctic; one off the coast of South America for sea turtles etc.). Clicking on one of the links on the Magic Planet might play a video they’re describing the impact on the species. Using TourGuide is a simple way to build compelling, interactive applications for the Magic Planet projection sphere.
Or if your application is in the hospitality industry, you might add links on the globe for each of your resort locations. Clicking on the link might show more information about the resort, and even play a video walk through. It’s a great way to keep people interested in what you have to say – and with TourGuide, it’s easy to do!
Numerous samples come with TourGuide, including: “Kidzibits” (i.e. simple child-developed exhibits like “How does Global Warming affect Animals” and “ Egyptian Art Museums around the Globe”); news feeds; climate change; lesson plans; art; and many others.
iWorld Games™ and Quiz Engine: Develop your own interactive spherical touch screen world games
iWorld Atlas™: Collect interactive world maps to create an atlas for your exhibit
iWorld is a tool that lets you easily create interactive world maps for the Magic Planet. It’s designed to simplify the development of exhibits where there are global statistics that you want to convey in a compelling, interactive way. Take data for countries around the world that’s in an Excel file and simply export it – whether it’s climate change data; social science data; geographic data; or any other. Choose a color scheme for your data values and you have an interactive world map ready to go. It’s that simple. iWorld XML (see below) also lets you choose sophisticated visuals like backgrounds; masks; opacities; fades; rollover text; click actions and more.
iWorld Games and Quiz Engine lets your audience have fun with the Magic Planet projection sphere by playing “interactive world games”. A question pops up on the Magic Planet and the player has to click on the right country to answer. iWorld Games keeps score so you can assess skills or let users compete. Some sample games that come with iWorld Games include: Country geography (e.g. “Click on Zambia”); World Capitals (e.g. “Click on the country whose capital is Canberra ”); and a Geography Bee (e.g. “Where is the tallest building in the world?”). iWorld Games also has a “quiz engine” so you can quickly and easily create your own games.
Simply provide a list of the questions and answers, along with some hints. It’s that easy.
iWorld Atlas enables you to collect multiple iWorld interactive maps and provide tabs to rapidly switch among them. You can quickly and easily create an atlas on your topic.
Samples that come with the product include atlases for: climate change; global inequality; as well as a traditional atlas (e.g. type of government; currency; land area; etc.). Keep your audience’s attention as they learn about countries around the globe.
See the day/night cycle live; Click on a city and pop up a local- time clock with a spherical touch screen
ActiveEarth World Clocks is based upon the popular ActiveEarth world time clock application. It’s an interactive application which shows a gorgeous real-time day/night cycle image on the Magic Planet projection sphere, along with a “live” clock showing the time. Click on a city, and the clock updates to that city’s local time.
Add your own cities to create your own customized world clock. ActiveEarth World Clocks is a fun and educational application that’s sure to delight you and your guests.
Zoom! is like Google EarthTM for the Magic Planet. Based upon the popular NASA World Wind software, it lets you watch any of the hundreds of images and animations available for the Magic Planet projection sphere then interactively zoom in to see areas of interest close up. You can show the images as a pop-up window on the Magic Planet, or on a separate HD monitor for the ultimate in rich detail. Zoom! supports a wide variety of interaction techniques like trackballs (to select a region) ; spinners and buttons (to zoom and pan); touch-screens; etc. so you can customize it to create the exact exhibit you’d like.
Some Zoom! examples include: watching an animation of global real-time weather (see DynamicEarth below), then zooming in to see the local forecast (i.e. little symbols for sunny; cloudy; rainy; etc.); or selecting an amount of sea level rise, then zooming in and see in detail what happens to a particular coastal region.
Magic Planet projection sphere customers often develop a touchscreen kiosk to provide a “self-guided” interactive spherical touch screen capability for their installation. To simplify this task, Global Imagination has two Flash-based exhibit touch-screens templates. As a result, you can build your own custom touchscreen in a fraction of the time.
You simply provide the “content”, including descriptive text; animation thumbnails; related videos; and background graphics. Then, just identify which Magic Planet animation or application corresponds to each template button or menu item and you’re done. All the interactivity and polished graphics are built into the template. (Click on the images below to see larger views)
FullGlobe™ is an After Effects® plug-in that dramatically simplifies the task of making animations and movies for spherical touch screen displays. FullGlobe™ automatically handles effects such as warping, splitting, pole rotation, re- projection and others, so all your text, legends, pictures and other media look just the way you want them to – anywhere on the globe. It’s available for both Mac and PC, and it can develop movies for any spherical display. FullGlobe™ is an essential spherical movie-making tool; it pays for itself in no time!
Add some “global excitement” to your PowerPoint presentation. With the Magic Planet PowerPoint add-in, it’s now easy to use your PowerPoint slideshow to control the Magic Planet projection sphere. When you change your slide, the animation on the Magic Planet is automatically updated. In addition, you can add buttons and macros to your slides to provide additional interactive spherical touch screen control of the Magic Planet. Source code is provided.
Magic Planet DynamicEarth spherical touch screen enables you to display “real time” global weather and earthquake imagery on the Magic Planet. DynamicEarth downloads high quality images from the Internet every three hours.
It’s like a weather Digital Video Recorder – you can see the most recent weather “live”, or pause and go back to see a replay of the last eight weeks at your choice of speed. With DynamicEarth, not only do you get a sure-fire attraction for your audience, but you get a tool that makes understanding Earth’s dynamic systems much more rapid and intuitive. There is a modest annual fee for the service.
iWorld XML enables you to customize your iWorld interactive maps to control visuals like backgrounds; masks; opacities; fades; mouse rollover; click actions and more. With iWorld XML you can create highly polished, audience pleasing interactive maps in no time.
StoryTeller makes it easy to choreograph your exhibit – it allows you to quickly and easily control which images your audience watches and how they interact with them. With StoryTeller, adding Magic Planet spherical touch screen content is simple – just drag-and-drop. Moreover, with StoryTeller, you can immediately use the plethora of content already available in the Magic Planet Community or on the Internet – or even connect to the Internet for real-time “live” updates. StoryTeller software reads images and animations in the Internet standard map projection for global science imagery, called the “cylindrical equidistant” projection, and transforms them in real-time for display on the Magic Planet.
StoryTeller coordinates the images and animations on the Magic Planet with audio as well as with a second screen of more detailed information. StoryTeller can run either fully automated or fully interactive, which makes the Magic Planet great both for stand alone and “facilitated” operation. This flexibility makes the Magic Planet ideal for briefing centers and lobbies that aren’t staffed with presenters all the time.
If you want to control a Magic Planet from your touch-screen podium(s), it’s simple to do. If your exhibit isn’t able to use one of our customizable template, and modifying the source won’t do the trick, anyone with HTML, Flash or scripting experience already has the skills they need to build one from scratch. The product also includes a remote control to maximize your ability to interact with the audience.
OnStage is designed to enable interactive media and applications on the Magic Planet projection sphere. OnStage is “always live” – in other words, you can display interactive simulations, live streaming media, even games on the Magic Planet in real time. OnStage works with existing, unmodified applications and video – there’s no programming involved to make them appear on the Magic Planet. Moreover, it’s completely interactive – it has advanced cursor support so you can control your applications directly while watching nothing but your Magic Planet display!
OnStage works by taking a rectangular global display from any application window and “warping it” in real-time for display on the Magic Planet. In addition, it can take a second window and map it as an “inset window” on the Magic Planet in real-time. There’s no modification required to the applications.
Some examples include mapping: global displays from satellite simulation applications onto the Magic Planet in real time; interactive Flash animations; Photoshop or AfterEffects animations under development; live streaming video from a web page or a movie player; and many others.
Anyone who’s built a multi-display exhibit knows how hard it is to get all the windows up on all the displays in a reliable fashion. With MPBrowser, it’s easy. MPBrowser provides a wrapper around Internet Explorer and a Flash Video Player. It lets you control on which display each of your touch-screen(s) or web-based applications start, as well as their size, position and full-screen options.