Globe is a view of the world from your location as if you could see through Earth.
We all know the world is round yet world maps, as we know them, are totally flat. Projections of the globe onto a rectangle with the corners stretched and the middle squished.
When you think about it, the maps we have are a view that only astronauts and Martians get to see.
About time we were able to see the world for what it is: Round.
Globe shows you the direct view to every point on the Earth. If you have ever wanted to tunnel to Australia this is the view you would need.
We’ve built the first version of Globe so we could prove our concept and make sure the technology really worked before launching our Kickstarter campaign and you can try out our very first developmental version of Globe here: globe.workshop14.io
Why do we need to Kickstart Globe?
We think our current demo makes for a really interesting perspective on the world. It also proves that the concept works and we can bring it to the web. But we have plans to allow users to do much more with this view on the world by allowing users to upload their own data to produce unique visualisations of the planet.
We also want Globe to be free from payment and free from login. We don’t want to keep your details and sell them on. All we ask is that people can use Globe and find some value in it for themselves. To that end we also want to remain on the open web (i.e. away from app stores) and make Globe accessible to all. Once you’ve got the link, you can share it again and again.
We even want Globe to be free from the internet. Did you know you can save some webpages directly to your phone? In most cases when you do this, these pages still require the internet. But it is possible that they don’t; we want to do this for our site so you can pin the page to your start screen. Then when you go on holiday your location can be found without the internet and we can show you the unique world view without eating a byte of your data.
A Kickstarter is a great way to realise these goals with an interested and supportive community. It would be wonderful if you wanted to join that community and we would love to hear your ideas for Globes next steps.
This is how we would like to use the Kickstarter Funds we raise:
Turn our fledgling demo site into a stable application that can support large volumes of traffic.
Making a site that can handle requests quickly takes more time than demonstrating a simple prototype. At Workshop14 we consider a site’s performance to be part of the user experience and we want to take the time to apply all the appropriate optimisations to speed up Globe
Make and Keep Globe free for everyone everywhere.
We all know the business model where something interesting is ruined with advertising banners, we don’t want this for Globe. A successful campaign will allow us to keep adverts off the application and make Globe the free, inspiring tool it is destined to be.
Enrich the Globe map graphic by adding country labels and colouring territories.
There is a great supply of data available to enrich the Globe map experience. At the moment our prototype shows only country borders. It is a great starting point and gives an overview of the whole world but we want to add a bit more. World cities will come first but the possibilities beyond that are virtually limitless.
Save personal data to your Globe map.
We want users to be able to customise their experience of Globe. Perhaps you’ve got family abroad? Or offices all over the world? We would like to offer the ability to save and pin these important locations on a personalised version of Globe that you can save and share.
More personalisation ideas:
We want to add world cities but why stop there? Maybe you want to show every country you have visited or you want to visualise your supply chain or show all the world's rainforests. We want to have an open platform where you can add any data you please and make Globe your own.
Develop Globe to work on all mobile devices.
This is the most unglamorous extra but we think it’s important. There is a limit to which phones we can support but it is one of our values to support as many devices as possible and not to release features only available to those on the newest high-price devices.
Offer customised map prints on demand direct from the Globe App.
Printed maps are just as important as on-screen. Once you’ve personalised your Globe App view, wouldn’t it be cool if you could print it off? We have a digital, on-demand printer lined up that will plug automatically into Globe. We would like you to be able to hit print direct from the Globe app and a few days later, a high quality print arrive on your doorstep. If we get all the way to this stage we would only need to sell a couple of prints each month to keep Globe free for ever.
Do you have your own idea about how Globe could be used for good?
Why not email us - we will do as much as we can with our Kickstarter funds and we may be able to turn your idea into a stretch goal.
How might people use Globe?
Our hope is Globe can, in some way, bring people closer together. Families on different continents using Globe can find out exactly which direction their loved ones are in.
The traveller on his or her year-long adventure could plot using Globe their route, stop off points and visualise the entire journey through Globe.
Families with friends all over the world could order a custom print, through Globe, of the locations of their friends or a company with offices all over could plot the locations of those too.
Globe is simply a map and you will be able to use Globe in the same way you can use any other map, but what seems to make people so excited about the Globe concept is it’s unique perspective. For the first time ever, you can actually find out and visualise where something is on Earth relative to your position on the planet.
The Global Community
We want to make Globe free for everyone and build a community of users who will share their uniquely customised Globe maps all over the world. That means making sure our tech is available to users with low cost and old devices.
We would love friends to share Globe maps so they can both point to one another and, if they had a shovel, be able to tunnel a way to each other.
This is us - we're friends :)
Risks and challenges
As a software project the two main risks we face are failings in our platform and delays due to mismanaged complexity.
To mitigate the first we have made several prototypes and similar products. We have tested the web platform with these and know that our requirements for geo-location, graphics and offline support can all be met. We are not able to support old models/browsers however accepting this early allows us to focus on support across all capable platforms.
At Workshop 14 we have built several large software projects and managed complexity using the best practises. We use an architecture that encourages extensibility so new features can be added easily. The code base is well tested so it is robust and maintainable.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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