The Geoscope was a proposal by Buckminster Fuller in 1962 to create a 200-foot-diameter (61 m) globe, which would be covered in colored lights so that it could function as a large spherical display. It was envisioned that the Geoscope would be connected to computers which would allow it to display both historical and current data, and enable people to visualize large scale patterns around the globe.
Many of Fuller's ideas for the functions of the Geoscope are now being realized by virtual globes. The Geoscope continues to inspire inter-disciplinary thinkers including emerging designer Paul Abacus, who has updated the concept as a "data cathedral for the masses" using interactive new media displays and real time data visualizations.
Fuller did not limit his use of the term "Geoscope" to the 200 foot (61 m) diameter globe proposed for installation near the U.N. He also used it to refer to smaller globes to be viewed from the inside outwards toward the stars.
He states in his book Critical Path:
We also need to construct a large number of Geoscopes, which are large, see-through spheres shaped and oriented like the planet Earth. By standing inside, you can view the stars exactly as they appear to anyone standing at any point on Earth. Computers for each Geoscope will "store all relevant inventories of world data arranged chronologically, in the order and spacing of discovery, as they have occurred throughout all known history." Time-lapse images projected onto the Geoscope will display in a matter of minutes all sorts of global, long-term trends, everything from continental drift to human migration to use of transportation. "With the Geoscope humanity would be able to recognize formerly invisible patterns and thereby to forecast and plan in vastly greater magnitude than heretofore."
- Buckminster Fuller Institute. "R. Buckminster Fuller's Geoscope". Buckminster Fuller Institute. Retrieved 2009-05-23.[dead link]
- Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. "Sundance Film Festival To Feature Two EMPAC Commissions". Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Retrieved 2012-01-09.
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