Global Imagination

Introduction | Magic Planet Hardware | Magic Planet Software | System Requirements

Global Imagination makes the Magic Planet® digital video globe – the digital display with a sphere-shaped screen. We also supply software, content and services that enable you to present global information and promotional media in the most compelling and interactive way possible. Together with our partners and our user community, we can provide you with complete solutions that deliver an excellent return on your Magic Planet investment in the shortest possible timeframe (click on above images to see larger views).

With its stunning visual impact, Magic Planets provide a truly captivating experience – people take one look and drag others over to watch. Owning a Magic Planet means that more people will pay attention to your story, they’ll pay attention for longer, and they’ll have a more lasting connection to you and your organization.

The Magic Planet has a broad feature set, and it can be configured to meet the diverse needs of public, private and government organizations. Whether your goal is to educate guests, to raise awareness, or to market and sell products, the Magic Planet delivers extraordinary results. See how it can meet your needs for:

Exhibits and Outreach
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Magic Planet digital video globes grab people’s attention and spark their imagination. They make it much easier for people to intuitively understand dynamic global systems – or to put information in a global context – whether it’s climate, the biosphere, geologic history, cultural heritage, the return of Egyptian antiquities, global literacy, or any other global topic. They help tell stories about our planet in a much more compelling way, so people want to repeat the experience. With a Magic Planet, you can change your exhibits quickly and easily, so people will come back again and again, learning new things each time.

Marketing and Promotion
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If attention is what you’re after, a Magic Planet is ideal. However, that’s just the starting point for the results a Magic Planet can deliver. With its 360° line of sight, and its true interactivity, Magic Planets represent the next generation of digital signage and “in-store” advertising. Magic Planets can be integrated with kiosks, 3rd party applications such as merchandising systems, even with games, so you can draw people in and interactively escort them all the way to your final business objective.

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The Magic Planet amazes students, holds their attention, and keeps them fully engaged in the learning process; it makes teaching easier, and also helps students understand any subject with a global context. Whether you teach Earth and Planetary Sciences, World History, Geography, or Social Science, the Magic Planet is an intuitive and student-friendly way to provide interactive instruction.

Executive Briefing and Situation Awareness
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An executive’s time and attention are precious commodities. With a Magic Planet incorporated into your presentation, you’re much more likely to get the time and attention your message deserves. Whether you need to brief a busy decision maker on issues of global scope, or on regional issues that need to be placed in a global context, Magic Planet is the most effective and compelling tool available. Magic Planets make it easy for people to quickly understand dynamic global systems and situations, so your information has maximum impact in minimum time. To illustrate in just a few minutes what’s happening across 17 time zones, a Magic Planet is the answer.

Magic Planet Hardware

Magic Planets come in twelve sizes from 16" to almost 10' (41cm to 3m) – there’s a size for every space. They can sit on a tabletop, be fixed to the floor or wall, or they can be hung by a lift from the ceiling. They can be driven by a computer application, by an HD DVD player, by a media server and synchronized with your other multimedia, or by a live streaming video source. So, whether you’re after a 16” interactive personal experience, a 30” multi-touch globe experience, an incomparable 3m wow factor, or anything in between, there’s a Magic Planet solution that’s right for you.

Globe sizes of 16" to 18" (41cm - 46cm) afford maximum portability while grabbing people’s attention and sparking their imagination. Sizes 24", 30" and 36" (61cm - 91.44cm) add imposing visual experiences while remaining personal and approachable. For maximum stunning impact, a 4', 5' or 6' (1.219m to 1.828m) globe cannot be matched. Inflatable sizes can be even larger; up to almost 10' (3m). No matter what the size, you can see your information or promotional media from any angle - there are no “dead spots” on the spherical display that might impact the experience.

The product comes in seven configurations: portable; pedestal; chassis; pedestal touch globe; inflatable; external projection; and our ultra-high-resolution Dual HD Magic Planet. Portable units can be carried by a single individual, and set up for a presentation alongside a notebook computer in little more time than it takes to set up a PC projector. Whether it’s for use in a meeting room, a boardroom, on a tabletop or in a classroom, a Magic Planet display can be transported there and set up quickly and easily.

Pedestal configurations are ideal for standing exhibits or displays, such as in museums, stores, executive briefing centers, and corporate lobbies. With the Magic Planet mounted on a black matte base, visitors will feel just like they’re watching the Magic Planet floating in space. For the most compelling interactive experience, a Magic Planet touch globe is ideal. Multiple visitors can explore the exhibit content in their own unique way with just the touch of a finger.

Chassis configurations are designed so that you can incorporate the Magic Planet into your own enclosure, furniture or architectural detail. The Magic Planet can become an integral part of your architectural style.

Global Imagination’s inflatable products, Magic Planet PufferSpheres, are available with globe sizes of 1.6, 2, 2.5, and 3m (5' 3", 6' 7", 8' 2", and 9' 10") in diameter.  Magic Planet PufferSpheres are ideal for situations in which you need to combine a large sphere with rugged portability, such as for stage or trade shows; educational, corporate, government or cultural events; as well as for branding, marketing and promotions. 

The stunning Dual HD system is the highest resolution Magic Planet ever; it achieves this new breakthrough by utilizing an innovative new lens, which merges the output of two HD projectors into one ultra-high-resolution image. Moreover, innovations like interactive real-time edge blending and projector color matching ensure that your image is always at its finest. What results is a spectacular 2.9 million pixels of global imagery – providing the absolute sharpest and brightest spherical display on the planet.

The Dual HD is offered with a wide range of Magic Planet spheres, starting with the stunning 3' (91cm) sphere. The system uses two HD projectors; however it's driven by a single computer making it both cost effective and easy to maintain.

Global Imagination also now offers the Magic Planet EP, which combines images from four external projectors to create a stunning spherical display.  Based upon NOAA’s SOS technology†, the Magic Planet EP comes in sphere diameters of 68" and up.  It’s ideal for theatre-like settings where you want maximum visual impact, and for large areas where using multiple external projectors is essential.

Daily operation of the Magic Planet is easy – it can be handled by almost anyone. Customers typically leave the software or media server running 24/7, and merely have someone turn the projector on and off daily. As far as operation costs, as with any projector, the bulb needs to be replaced about every 1,500 - 2,000 hrs (depending upon the particular projector), so operational costs are minimal. Magic Planet globes are made of a durable materials that can be cleaned with soap and water.  

The Magic Planet hardware comes bundled with everything you need to run your exhibit or to display your media. With the large range of content and exhibits in the Magic Planet user community, your Magic Planet can be delivering value the day it’s installed!

Are your needs unique, and not completely addressed by the range of choices already provided? If so, Global Imagination will design and build a custom system to your exact specifications. We also provide additional hardware such as touch-screens, kiosks, computers, and shipping cases, as well as software and content development services so you can get a one-stop-shop for your needs.

† The US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s Science on a Sphere™.

Magic Planet Software

End-User Software
Tools and Templates
Developer Tools
Ready-made Exhibits Touchscreen Templates StoryTeller
TourGuide FullGlobe AfterEffects Plug-in OnStage
iWorld PowerPoint Plug-in MPBrowser
iWorld Games DynamicEarth  
iWorld Atlas iWorld XML  
ActiveEarth World Clocks    



Ready-made exhibits:   Show a premiere exhibit the day your Magic Planet is installed  

The Global Imagination Customer Community contains numerous ready-made customizable exhibits freely available for the Magic Planet - as well as hundreds of images and animations.  Exhibits include Tours of the Solar System - both in English and bilingual (with languages including English, Portuguese, and Chinese, as well as Spanish and Arabic coming soon); Climate Change; Plate Tectonics; various other earth and space science exhibits; as well as one on global literacy and press freedom.  These exhibits have been developed by (or for) organizations such as NASA and the European Space Agency; Scripps Birch Aquarium; Griffiths Observatory and others, so they’re of premiere quality.  You can have any of these exhibits up and running on your Magic Planet the day it’s installed – so the Magic Planet will be delivering value immediately, even if you choose to create your own exhibit.








TourGuide™:  Create interactive media mashups for the Magic Planet (ages 13 and up)  

TourGuide lets you create interactive 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 there describing the impact on the species. Using TourGuide is a simple way to build compelling, interactive applications for the Magic Planet.

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™:   Build interactive world maps for the Magic Planet

iWorld Games™ and Quiz Engine:  Develop your own interactive 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 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.


ActiveEarth World Clocks™:   See the day/night cycle live; Click on a city and pop up a local- time clock

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, 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! ™:   Watch images or animations on the Magic Planet, and interactively zoom in to see great detail  

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 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.

Tools and Templates

Touchscreen templates:   Create polished, interactive touch-screens using a “fill-in-the-blanks” approach

Magic Planet customers often develop a touchscreen kiosk to provide a “self-guided” interactive 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™:   Create movies for spherical displays in a fraction of the time

FullGlobe™ is an After Effects® plug-in that dramatically simplifies the task of making animations and movies for spherical 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!

PowerPoint Plug-In:   Use the Magic Planet as an adjunct to your Microsoft PowerPoint presentation

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.  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 control of the Magic Planet.  Source code is provided.


DynamicEarth™:   Include real-time weather and real-time earthquakes in your exhibit

Magic Planet DynamicEarth 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:   Add advanced graphical  effects to your interactive world maps  

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.



Developer Tools

StoryTeller®:   Choreograph sophisticated interactive exhibits  

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 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:  Display and use interactive media and applications on the Magic Planet

OnStage is designed to enable interactive media and applications on the Magic Planet. 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.


MPBrowser:  Easily control multi-display exhibits  

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.   In addition, multiple MPBrowsers can be controlled from a single web or Flash-based application via JavaScript – locally or over your network, with no scripting changes!.  For example, if you want to have one touchscreen control what’s on all the other displays, or control how video is being played on multiple monitors, MPBrowser is ideal.

System Requirements

The Magic Planet is powered by a standard, Windows-based desktop or notebook computer. Click here to download a PDF document that lists the latest system requirements.

Alternately, the Magic Planet can be driven by a DVD player or streaming media server that supports SXGA+ output (1400 x 1050 resolution), or XGA output (1024 x 768 resolution) for our smaller Education System.


Customer Quotes

"We are very happy with the Magic Planet. It is truly a charming exhibit. The
thoughtful and elegant presentation possibilities are perfectly designed for
people who want to find out about our planet, solar system, climate and
nature phenomena – our guests and us. An impressive way of offering
information and entertainment at the same time."

Svantje Schumann
Science House


"The Magic Planet has been a great success within our gallery. I still find it amazing, despite knowing and understanding how it works, that we can have such a good projection over the entire globe from only 1 projector and have been called upon by visitors on many occasions asking, ‘How do we do it?’ I am still finding new ways to use the MP through your community, which has proven to be a wealth of knowledge and ideas.

With regards to Vivifeye, I can not praise them enough. They seem to be available on the end of the phone/email whenever I have questions, which can sometimes be quite frequent, and are always happy to help. I think as we further develop our installation, and use the available resources from your community, it will be a long time before our MP is not considered a fantastic addition to our gallery."

Damian Lynch
Dynamic Earth Enterprises Ltd


"The Magic Planet Puffersphere has been a very effective tool in drawing attention, and as a way to explain our data sets to the world. We are excited to show the world what we do on the Puffersphere."

Karen Yuen
Earth Public Engagement Manager, Jet Propulsion Laboratory