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Geek Dad John Knight built this “Electromagnetic Geospacial Globe and Remote View with Obligatory Goggles” with RFID tags and reader (Touchatag) to remote-control Google Earth on a steampunk’d tablet computer. Oh, and the goggles? They don’t do anything special. Yet.

John will be showing how he built it and talking about it this morning at Maker Faire Detroit. He’ll be presenting at 10am, at the MAKE Demo Stage.

Steampunk Globe

More:
Lego Solar Dynamic Observatory

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor for Boing Boing and WINK Books. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.


  • Math Campbell

    This would be really really nifty if the goggles had a display in them, that overlaid google-earth derived information onto the globe, such as demographics, or even a zoom-scroller so you can zoom into a town etc and have it all “overlay”…
    Could be very very nifty…
    Of course, it’s already pretty damned nifty…

  • Gareth Branwyn

    Augmented reality goggles. That WOULD be cool. I think John has desires to do something with them and that would be a great idea.

  • Math Campbell

    Thinking more about it, maybe it’d be better to remove the goggles, and instead have a transparent viewfinder with an integrated display. With the goggles, you’d have to have the globe move on 2 axis, otherwise you’d not be able to see higher latitudes properly…

  • digger.net

    The moment I saw this, I knew I wanted one. But slightly different. That magnifying lens needs to be a round LCD. Yes, they make those. And it needs absolute rotary encoders on the globe and arm pivots. Then the rotation of the globe and tilt of the arm would be used to compute the lat/long the “lens” is centered over, and the Google Earth view would be centered at those coords and displayed on the LCD. As the globe is turned or the arm is tilted, the virtual globe would be rotated to match, keeping continuously in sync. And there would be a rotary control beside the “lens” to control “magnification”. I other words, a zoom knob.

    I shudder to think what it would cost to do all that and make it as pretty as this work of art, but I want one. Badly.