I typically have most of my ideas at night. Not quite sure why that is, but things just seem to infiltrate my brain and manifest themselves. It's like a pop-up ad in my brain in the form of an idea or concept. Weird, I know. The way things usually work out is after the inside of my brain gets invaded by the concept, I'll usually google it to see if such a thing exists (if it's that type of idea). That's exactly what happened here.
The Magic Planet is an innovative learning tool that allows an extra level of interaction with a traditional classroom staple. Instead of just spinning a globe and randomly stopping it with your finger to locate a spot, now you can entertain yourself (and in this case students or museum goers) with satellite imagery of our Blue Dot. Watch weather patters come to life, view a fast forward of the seasons, even check out interesting data provided by NASA. This thing is incredibly cool, you can even check out other planets.
In a nutshell, it's a projector inside of an acrylic globe that displays in spherical form. They can be found at the Smithsonian, NASA, classrooms (with unlimited budgets), and The Museum of Natural History.
How awesome would it be if this globe was touch screen? Maybe in future iterations. The idea that hit me was of a digital globe with real time weather patterns, night/daytime satellite imagery, and it'd be VERY cool to have certain pre-recorded spots that you'd be able to zoom into. Now, imagine having a large room in a museum to set up all the planets (along with their moons) in our solar system in their own individual digital globes that circled a giant digital globe with imagery from our sun. Mind BLOWN. I'd have a really tough time leaving that place.
For more info on Magic Planet check out their website, globalimagination.com.