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Multitouch Earth: Terminology


Points on the map with latitude and longitude coordinates are called waypoints.


A series of waypoints connected by lines (tracking past or future travel of a ship, for example) is called a route.


Overlay displayed on top of the map. Such overlays may contain additional information, such as points of interest, weather, etc.

Actual route

The Actual route is the real last route of the ship with the length of about 1.000 km to the current ship’s position (this route is built from the data supplied by the ship’s navigation system).

Captain’s route

The future route as planned by the captain (this route is built from the data supplied by the ship’s navigation system) is called Captain’s route.

Custom’s route (or User’s route)

The future possible route as built by the user is called a custom route. Such route can be built from scratch or created from the Captain’s route.


An alert is an important message which should be seen by the Multitouch Earth user.


A popup windows displayed by the program that provides additional (optional) information about a specific feature is called a balloon. Photo metadata and comments, for example, are displayed in a balloon.


KML is an open standard format officially named the OpenGIS® KML Encoding Standard (OGC KML); it is maintained by the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC) with the complete specification at http://www.opengeospatial.org/standards/kml/ and the complete XML schema at http://schemas.opengis.net/kml/. A KML can contain waypoints, routes, and layers.

Hardware: Overview

Multi-touch terrestrial sphere (Globe/Globus/Глобус) is an unusual and highly innovative spherical information system which sets new standards for graphical user interfaces. It is a high-resolution rear-projection device with a multi-touch surface. The lens is a spherical sector measuring 100 cm with a centre height of 30 cm, which means a spherical sector of 114 cm in diameter. A diagram of the display and a picture of an already installed lens are shown on the right.

The main application Multitouch Earth fit to on large Multitouch Domed Monitor.


Hardware and Hardware Drivers


The large multi-touch display hardware was custom-made for the terrestrial sphere (Globe/Globus/Глобус) and its installation has a specific set of restrictions that must be observed (installation depth, exposure to light etc). Due to its spherical shape, the display requires a low-level driver and appropriate de-skewing and stitching algorithms to be used for presentation.


Operation System


The terrestrial sphere (Globe/Globus/Глобус) requires device to be integrated with an established software platform able to fully support Multi-Touch in order to provide applications with a suitable abstraction level for interpretation of the user gestures. The drivers described above are to be compatible with this software platform.
Windows 7 is one such suitable platform, as it provides acceptable APIs and has Multi-Touch capabilities, as well as control elements adapted especially for writing unique multi-touch-enabled applications. In addition, established standard applications should be able to run on these platforms or be suitable for adaptation by the manufacturer. However, these system capabilities cannot be accessed easily as operation using non-certified hardware is not supported.

Interactive Globe

Interactive Globe


Lens geometry

Lens geometry


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