SOS Network evaluations and best practices
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Content for spherical display systems is available for download from the SOS Dataset Catalog.
The SOS Users Collaborative Network helps to support the creation of content for spherical display systems. Many members of the network are involved in creating content.
Guidelines for creating content based on the recommendations of the network have been established and refined at network workshops.
Members of the SOS Ocean-Atmosphere Literacy Partnership project (American Museum of Natural History, Science Museum of Minnesota, and the Maryland Science Center) also created a Best Practices Report for creating content pieces.
NOAA’s suggested content guidelines
The SOS Users Collaborative Network has developed guidelines for creating effective content for spherical display systems. Effective educational content should:
Be structured to tell a compelling Earth system science story that is related o NOAA’s mission. The story should explain an Earth system phenomenon and provide the context and relevance of this phenomenon to the general public.
Have clear messages and learning objectives that will be evaluated.
Be based on an appropriate combination of data visualizations, animations, video and still imagery, and computer graphics.
Feature use of NOAA data (can be complemented by other, non-NOAA datasets). Examples of current visualizations involving NOAA data can be found at the Science On a Sphere Dataset catalog and the NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory.
Be able to be displayed on spherical display system, including NOAA’s Science On a Sphere (SOS) System.
Be of a minimum resolution of 2048 X 1024 pixels for all sphere content.
Have planetary images plotted on an equatorial cylindrical equidistant projection for all sphere content.
Be made available as an MPEG-4 file, and/or as a directory of JPEG images with accompanying MP3 file for all sphere content.
Be evaluated for efficacy at delivering environmental messages after fully developed.
A summative evaluation was conducted of 16 sphere sites to investigate the nature and range of impacts that the sphere has on audiences who interact with it. The final report of this evaluation (completed in September 2010), conducted by the Institute for Learning Innovation, is available below.
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Visualizing Change Project: Training and Tools to Support Informal Educators
Individual institutions that have spherical display systems have conducted evaluations and have shared them. If you would like to add or update an evaluation report, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to all who have shared their evaluation reports and thereby helped to increase our collective understanding of how this technology can best be utilized.
American Museum of Natural History
Aquarium of the Pacific
Boonshoft Museum of Discovery
Denver Museum of Nature and Science
Related to the 2013 summative evaluation, there is also a published article called "The Value of Educators 'on the floor': Comparing Three Models of Presenting Science On a Sphere."offsite link
Lawrence Hall of Science
Maryland Science Center
McWane Science Center
Miami Science Museum
North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island
Nurture Nature Center
Pacific Science Center
Science Museum of Minnesota
Science Museum of Virginia
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Smithsonian National Zoological Park
The Tech Museum of Innovation
Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution