Today at work my friend Kerry and I were talking about geography and globes, which was prompted by the Yahooligans Where in the World is? game (where you see if you know your world geography), and came up with what I think would be the perfect globe: an interactive one whose outer surface is a touch-sensitive LCD screen that has all the details projected onto it from the inside. Think about it: it’s basically a spherical computer screen, so it could always be up-to-date with new political country borders—download new data to it via a USB connection to your computer—and facts about each country; a touch-sensitive surface means you could simply poke a country to get information about it, or play games on it (find the country); it could be custom color-coded; it could be animated; you could even load other planets onto it, say Mars, Jupiter, or even a fictional one. It would have to be programmable, of course, so hackers could customize the hell out of it.
A cursory search online reveals this: The Explorer Globe from LeapFrog. It’s similar to what I’m thinking:
Touch the interactive pen any place on this interactive, talking atlas and learn thousands of amazing facts. Compare population and land area between say Dundee, Scotland and Oaxaca, Mexico. Find out flying times between Lubbock, Texas and Kyoto, Japan. Learn fascinating facts about continents, countries, capitals, music, currency, highest points and so much more.
There is also a “Eureka” game mode that prompts players to find geographic points of interest (giving hints along the way) before time runs out. Up to four players can play six multi-level games with this very chatty, very challenging atlas. And it isn’t just for kids either. Everyone will have fun testing their knowledge of geography and exploring the world.
Sounds cool. Sadly, I’m pretty sure technology isn’t advanced enough yet to come up with my perfect globe. When it is, though, I want royalties.