Science On a Sphere® (SOS) displays global data the way it should be viewed —
on a sphere!
It is a room sized, global display system that uses custom software, computers,
and video projectors to display planetary visualizations (and much more!) onto
a large sphere, analogous to a giant animated globe.
For a sample of Science On a Sphere® in action, check out this presentation
from the inventor:
Looking for the perfect dataset? The SOS data catalog has over 550
datasets, including 45 real-time datasets. Users get new datasets automatically
at no additional cost. NOAA’s latest global models and observations from across
all of the NOAA line offices can be found in the catalog. Examples include:
National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service: Most real-time datasets, GOES imagery, POES swaths
National Weather Service: 13 GFS model outputs, SWPC aurora model
Want to give a SOS presentation? Navigate your way through presentations
seamlessly with the
SOS Remote App for iPads.
The app includes access to the full data catalog, easy to use controls for
showing the datasets, access to custom presentation playlists, a playlist
builder to create your custom presentation playlists, and a variety of tools
such as layering, drawing, and zoom, all at your fingertips!
Not sure where to start? Want to see how others use SOS? Included with SOS are
over 50 presentations with playlists and scripts called Live
Programs already put together for you from NOAA and SOS
One challenge with a sphere is that visitors surrounding the sphere can't all
see the same location that a presenter might be pointing to during a
presentation. The solution? The
on the SOS Remote App! It allows you to dynamically split the sphere into 2, 3,
or 4 slices so that everyone around the sphere gets to see the same data at the
Have custom content you want to use? It’s easy to add with the Visual Playlist
Editor! You can add custom content, modify existing datasets, and create your
own presentation playlists with this intuitive software.
Seeking to add context for your datasets? Text PIPs
(picture-in-a-picture) give you the ability to add text onto the sphere that
can serve as an explanation or a label or pose a thought provoking question.
With support for multiple fonts, colors, and languages, the possibilities are
Want to give your visitors control? The SOS Public Kiosk lets you do just that!
Completely customizable and easy for visitors to use, the kiosk lets visitors
choose what they look at and explore the datasets on their own.
SOS can be found around the world, so we’ve written the SOS software to
support multiple languages in most of the user interfaces,
including the SOS Remote App, the SOS Public Kiosk, and the Visual Playlist
Science On a Sphere® is a unique and captivating educational tool that is used
in science museums, visitor centers, zoos, aquariums, laboratories, and schools
around the world. The educational material created to support SOS
includes live programs, lessons plans, hands-on activities and evaluations.
Many of the institutions that have SOS have contributed their education
resources back to the SOS program.
The Education Forum is a group of educators, docents, and content creators
within the SOS Collaborator’s Network who meet quarterly via online webinar to
share their ideas and discuss primarily how SOS can effectively educate K–12
and beyond. Past quarterly Education Forum webinars are
available in the Education section.
The Science On a Sphere® Users Collaborative Network (SOS
Network) is composed of institutions who use Science On a Sphere® in an
educational setting. It serves as a forum for sharing information on the
creation of new content, technical improvements, and evaluations. Workshops are
held every 18 months at different SOS institutions. The workshops serve as a
time to get SOS users together in one place to share best practices, learn
about what’s new, and discuss the future of the program. The SOS Network brings
together NOAA and science centers to form the ideal partnership.