There are several companies and organizations that provide spherical projector technology, but the first one I had ever heard of was Science on a Sphere (SOS) created by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Originally envisioned in 1995 by Dr. Alexander “Sandy” MacDonald and later patented in 2005, these Science on a Spheres (and other variations) are in hundreds of locations across the United States and abroad to help increase understanding of Earth’s complex processes.
In support of these visualization systems, NEO provides an archive of time-lapse global imagery to display in spherical projections located in the NEO SOS Archive. NEO uses the Content Creation Guidelines by NOAA to provide a time series in the preferred projection, image format, and resolution. There is also a labels.txt file available with each dataset to label the images with the correct acquisition, a color bar file to provide context to each time series, and a PIP text file (.SOS) that points to the labels and color bar file along with extra features like fade in time and frame rate. Please see the SOS Remote App manual to learn how to display NEO’s time-series datasets on your display system using the SOS Remote App.
This service started based on requests and only has part of the NEO archive available. If you see a dataset that is not in the archive on our site and you would like it for your spherical visualization, please send us an email using the Contact Us link below.
Here is a preview of some of the datasets we currently have available in the SOS Archive:
Active Fires from Terra/ MODIS
Aerosol Optical Thickness (Depth) from Terra/ MODIS
Chlorophyll Concentration from Aqua/ MODIS
Land Surface Temperature Anomaly (Day) from MODIS
Net Radiation from CERES
Outgoing Longwave Radiation from CERES
Rainfall from TRMM
Reflected Shortwave Radiation from CERES
Sea Ice Concentration from SSM/I / DMSP
Sea Surface Temperature from Aqua/ MODIS
Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly from AQUA/AMSR-E