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Animated News Globe

Animated globe gives you world political news at a glance
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One of the major news providers could create a web page which features a 3D animated world globe. The globe would be colored and labled to show information, and it would be crawling with little animated people and objects. The little people would act in ways that show current events in their part of the world. You could watch miniature battles and skirmishs that reflected the current wars. You could see characters who are sick from disease epidemics in various parts of the world. You could watch major storms and weather move across the globe. You could spin and zoom the globe, and click on characters to get more information about their activity. If you zoomed in on Utah and saw some little characters jumping around in ski outfits, you could click them to pull up information about the olympics, for example. The scale of the figures would be greatly exagerated, as would the scale of events based on their significance. It wouldn't be like a space photo of earth, it would be more like a sim game. The fires in California would hardly be visible from space, but since they are newsworthy, large flames could be shown spewing from California in the areas of the fires, for example. Or the World Trade Center ruins would be large enough to clearly see on the globe when that news broke, even though they would have to fill most of New York to be visible on the globe. The globe would be updated with a high-level language, and it would be updated manually by the people from some major news agency. It gives you a rough idea of the major news of the world in one quick spin, and it gives you a clear sense of geographical location to go with the news.
Krate, Feb 12 2002

GLOBE visualization http://viz.globe.go...g&rg=n&enc=00&nav=1
Not the same thing, but a zoomable globe displaying weather and environmental data. Data samples tend to only cover a small part of the world, though. [pottedstu, Feb 13 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

NewsMaps http://mappa.mundi.net/maps/maps_015/
Topographic Mapping of Information. Unfortunately the original site with live news (www.newsmaps.com) is down at the moment. [till, Feb 13 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

The US at night, as seen from space http://antwrp.gsfc..../apod/ap960617.html
On a cloudless night, obviously. [hippo, Feb 14 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

CNN's InfoGlobe http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/infoglobe/
I haven't actually looked at it, 'cos I'm not going to download the 4.9Mb VRML plugin over my slow home connection... [hippo, Feb 14 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

[link]






       Iconified news. Very interesting, though the rotating globe part is just gravy. Also, if the icons scale in relation to importance, who decides what's important?
phoenix, Feb 12 2002
  

       If it has "drill down" features, I'd be all for it. You know, see something happening around Omaha, click on it, and get the stories.
quarterbaker, Feb 12 2002
  

       I want this as a _real_ globe...   

       [phoenix] Deciding what's important is something that normal news media already do, so that's not specific to this representation.   

       Some news would be difficult to place, e.g. Enron, anything involving multinational corporations and culture. I guess one must make sure to not confuse proximity with importance, or have some indication of area affected rather than just source point. (A sack of rice falling over in Washington vs. a law being passed.)
jutta, Feb 13 2002
  

       I agree - It should be a real globe, with clever projection equipment inside. Alternative modes would show world weather, LandSat imagery, and seismic activity for the past 24 hours.
hippo, Feb 13 2002
  

       And if someone calls you from, say, a New York area code,... why, there he is!, jumping up and down and waving his arms.
jutta, Feb 13 2002
  

       I'd just sit in front of it all day, waiting for country-wide power outages (only worth seeing on the night-side of the globe), cataclysmic floods, volcanic eruptions, tsunami...
Linking it with air-traffic control systems would allow you to see all commercial airliners currently in the air.
hippo, Feb 13 2002
  

       could it have weather news too? displayed (of course) as a full atmospheric system projected on a thin almost-transparent exo-skeleton-globe around the main globe? weather systems as radar pictures or as frontal/isobar maps, or just all the cloud/sun icons
sappho, Feb 13 2002
  

       sappho: See link, for something using a globe that doesn't quite do this (its data sets tend to be confined to Northern Europe). And a web-based interface (reload for each rotation/zoom) is too sluggish. Still, the potential is there.
pottedstu, Feb 13 2002
  

       [hippo]: If there were country-wide power outages on the dark side of the globe, would you see *anything*? Rather Zen, isn't it?
phoenix, Feb 13 2002
  

       Cracking idea, I love it. I can see cultures building up around the various icons and animations: fan clubs for Bob the Generic Italian Fireman; groups of people organising news-worthy events - possibly even crimes such as arson etc - just to get their town, building etc on the globe...
Saveloy, Feb 13 2002
  

       [phoenix] - You can normally see city lights on satellite images of the Earth (See rather lovely link). During a big power outage you'd see a sizeable chunk of lights go dark.
hippo, Feb 14 2002
  

       (Link added for CNN's InfoGlobe.)
hippo, Feb 14 2002
  

       Hippo, looking at your US At Night Link, reminded me of stars in the night sky, and the human desire to make sense of things by correlating their patterns into constellations with an entire mythology. It wasn't too hard to imagine the stars in Orion's Belt being represented by the cities of Dallas, KC, and Minneapolis/St Paul., for example. (Or Ursa Major's Big Dipper in M/SP-Chicago-St.Louis-KC for the cup, and KC-Dallas-Houston for the ladle handle.) It caused me to think about the popular theorists who link the sitings of terrestial pyramids and other historic constructions from Stonehenge, France, Egypt, Central America and Peru to the astral positions of specific stars as they would have appeared at specific dates in ancient times. Wouldn't it be humorous if future generations looking back at maps similar to this one concluded that the physical siting of all our major cities was determined by similar astronomical or alien influences?
jurist, Feb 15 2002
  

       - you mean it wasn't?
Just to say that the "Real Globe" version of this idea would be one of the very few products from the HalfBakery that I'd actually want and be prepared to pay for.
hippo, Feb 15 2002
  

       You have my vote. Can you interface this directly with my right hemisphere?
bens, Jun 25 2002
  
      
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