WO1994022123A2 - Globes - Google Patents

Globes Download PDF

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Publication number
WO1994022123A2
WO1994022123A2 PCT/GB1994/000471 GB9400471W WO9422123A2 WO 1994022123 A2 WO1994022123 A2 WO 1994022123A2 GB 9400471 W GB9400471 W GB 9400471W WO 9422123 A2 WO9422123 A2 WO 9422123A2
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
apparatus
means
global model
position indicating
signal
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/GB1994/000471
Other languages
French (fr)
Other versions
WO1994022123A3 (en
Inventor
Michael Hollingworth
Original Assignee
Michael Hollingworth
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to GB939304938A priority Critical patent/GB9304938D0/en
Priority to GB9304938.5 priority
Application filed by Michael Hollingworth filed Critical Michael Hollingworth
Publication of WO1994022123A2 publication Critical patent/WO1994022123A2/en
Publication of WO1994022123A3 publication Critical patent/WO1994022123A3/en

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G09EDUCATION; CRYPTOGRAPHY; DISPLAY; ADVERTISING; SEALS
    • G09BEDUCATIONAL OR DEMONSTRATION APPLIANCES; APPLIANCES FOR TEACHING, OR COMMUNICATING WITH, THE BLIND, DEAF OR MUTE; MODELS; PLANETARIA; GLOBES; MAPS; DIAGRAMS
    • G09B27/00Planetaria; Globes
    • G09B27/08Globes
    • GPHYSICS
    • G09EDUCATION; CRYPTOGRAPHY; DISPLAY; ADVERTISING; SEALS
    • G09BEDUCATIONAL OR DEMONSTRATION APPLIANCES; APPLIANCES FOR TEACHING, OR COMMUNICATING WITH, THE BLIND, DEAF OR MUTE; MODELS; PLANETARIA; GLOBES; MAPS; DIAGRAMS
    • G09B27/00Planetaria; Globes
    • G09B27/06Celestial globes

Abstract

In an apparatus for use in providing desired information relating to a location of interest on an astronomical body represented by a global model (1) a selected point corresponding to the location of interest is indicated by bringing about relative movement between the global model (1) and a position indicating device (5a) until the device (5a) is aligned with the selected point. A first signal (Ζ1) indicative of the extent and direction of that movement is provided by movement sensing means (4) and employed by position determining means (6) to produce a second signal (Ζ2) representing the position of the selected point relative to a predetermined reference point, the second signal (Ζ2) being employed by control means (8) to access an electronic database (10) for providing the information desired. Such apparatus can be switched so as to operate in an alternative operational mode in which a location of interest on the astronomical body concerned can be found on said global model.

Description

GLOBES

The present invention relates to globes. Globes representing the planet Earth, supported by a frame and rotatable about an axis passing through the North and South poles on the globe, have long been known and are useful in providing a sense of physical geography that cannot be obtained as readily from maps or atlases.

Another type of globe, commonly called a "celestial" globe, is known which is a spherical representation of the constellations.

Such globes can be valuable teaching aids, but it is desirable to provide globes which are more informative and interesting to use. According to a first aspect of the present invention there is provided apparatus for use in providing desired information relating to a location of interest on the Earth, its moon, or other astronomical body, which apparatus comprises a global model representing the astronomical body concerned, support means for supporting said global model, a position indicating device for indicating a selected point on said global model corresponding to said location of interest, the apparatus being operable such that indication of said selected point can be achieved by bringing about relative movement between said global model and said position indicating device until said device is aligned with the selected point, movement sensing means for sensing such relative movement between the global model and said position indicating device and providing a first signal indicative of the extent and direction of that movement, position determining means connected to receive said first signal and operable, when the apparatus is in use, to employ said first signal to produce a second signal representing the position of the selected point relative to a predetermined reference point, and control means operable to employ said second signal to access an electronic database for providing said desired information relating to said location of interest.

In the present specification the term "astronomical body" is intended to include the Earth or any other planet in this or other solar systems, any moon of those planets, our Sun or any other star, and also any spherical representation of the constellations, such as that known as a "celestial" globe. In addition, this term includes any physical feature in the universe which can usefully be represented by a global model. A user of apparatus embodying the first aspect of the present invention can readily obtain information about a location of interest on the global model simply by rotating the global model and/or moving the position indicating device until the device is aligned with a selected point on the globe which corresponds to the location of interest. From the relative movement between the global model and position indicating device the position of the selected point can be determined and used to access a computer database from which information about various locations on the astronomical body represented by the global model is retrievable in accordance with the determined position.

It is envisaged that a number of different global models, representing different astronomical bodies or showing different features (for example physical, political, climatic, etc. ) of a single astronomical body, will be available. Accordingly in apparatus embodying the first aspect of the present invention the global model can preferably be removed and replaced when desired by another global model representing the same or a different astronomical body. Each global model used preferably has a separate electronic database associated therewith. Alternatively, the database is common to each global model used.

With a view to making the apparatus compact, the movement sensing means are desirably housed within the support means. The control means and/or the position determining means may for the same reason also be housed within the support means, but may alternatively be housed within the or each global model itself, if this viable. Where each global model is associated with a separate electronic database, each model preferably also or alternatively houses the database concerned.

Since the global models may be sold separately from the apparatus, according to a second aspect of the present invention there is provided apparatus for use in providing desired information relating to a location of interest on the Earth, its moon or other astronomical body represented by a global model supported by support means of the apparatus when the apparatus is in use, which apparatus comprises a position indicating device for indicating a selected point on said global model corresponding to said location of interest, the apparatus being operable such that indication of said selected point can be achieved by bringing about relative movement between said global model and said position indicating device until said device is aligned with the selected point, movement sensing means for sensing such relative movement between the global model and said position indicating device and providing a first signal indicative of the extent and direction of that movement, position determining means connected to receive said first signal and operable, when the apparatus is in use, to employ said first signal to produce a second signal representing the position of the selected point relative to a predetermined reference point, and control means operable to employ said second signal to access an electronic database for providing desired information relating to said location of interest. In apparatus embodying either the first or second aspect of the present invention, the global model is preferably rotatably supported by said support means and said movement sensing means comprise rotation detection means for detecting rotation of the model relative to the support means, said first signal being indicative of the extent and direction of that rotation.

Preferably the global model is supported so as to be rotatable in all directions. In this case the position indicating device may be fixedly mounted on said support means.

Preferably such rotation detection means comprise at least one rotation detection device mounted in such a way that when the apparatus is in use said device is in contact with the surface of said model and frictional coupling between the model and the device when the former is caused to rotate relative to the support means brings about corresponding rotation of said device, the rotation detection means further comprising rotation sensing means for sensing such rotation of the device and generating said first signal.

In a preferred embodiment of apparatus embodying the first or second aspect of the present invention, the rotation detection means comprise three such rotation detection devices, said rotation sensing means being operable to sense rotation of each device and the first signal being produced thereby in dependence upon the rotation of each device. Although it is preferred to use three rotation detection devices, it may be desirable to use only one or two such devices or to employ more than three such devices.

Desirably, the or each rotation detection device comprises a spherical ball or, alternatively, a cylindrical roller. However, the device may take other forms of appropriate shape.

The apparatus preferably comprises indexing means, connected to receive an indexing signal indicating that the position indicating device is aligned with the predetermined reference point on the global model, for use in indexing the apparatus on the predetermined reference point at the start of use.

The indexing signal is desirably supplied to the indexing means by a user of the apparatus when the relative positions of the global model and position indicating device have been adjusted such that the position indicating device is aligned with the predetermined reference point. In this case the indexing means preferably comprise a manually-operable key or switch. Alternatively, in apparatus in which the global model is rotatable, respective pairs of electrical contacts are provided on said support means and the surface of said global model such that said indexing signal is generated when the pair of electrical contacts provided on said global model are in contact with those on said support means.

Preferably, apparatus embodying the first or second aspect of the present invention can be switched so as to operate in an alternative operational mode in which a location of interest on the astronomical body concerned can be found on said global model, the apparatus further comprising accessing means, for receiving data identifying said location of interest and accessing the or another electronic database in such a way as to ascertain therefrom the point on said global model which corresponds to said location of interest, and position indicating means connected to said accessing means for indicating to a user of the apparatus said point on said model.

In such apparatus, the position indicating means preferably comprise a movable indicator. In this case the position indicating means are connected to employ said second signal in determining where to move said indicator.

Alternatively, when the global model is rotatable, such apparatus further comprises globe rotating means for rotating said global model in dependence upon said second signal in such a way as to place the point on said global model in alignment with said position indicating means. In a preferred embodiment the globe rotating means employ the or each rotation detection device to bring about rotation of said global model.

Desirably, where appropriate the position indicating means include said position indicating device. Apparatus embodying the first or second aspect of the present invention is preferably operable to present at least some of the desired information in the form of written words. Alternatively, or additionally, at least some of the desired information may be presented in the form of visual images and/or sound.

According to a third aspect of the present invention there is provided apparatus for finding, with reference to a global model representing the Earth, its moon or other astronomical body which is supported by the apparatus when in use, a location of interest on the astronomical body concerned, which apparatus comprises accessing means, for receiving data identifying said location of interest and accessing an electronic database in such a way as to ascertain therefrom the point on said global model which corresponds to said location of interest, and position indicating means connected to said accessing means for indicating to a user of the apparatus said point on said model.

Preferably, in such apparatus the global model is rotatable with respect thereto and the apparatus further comprises orientation determining means for determining the orientation of the model relative to a predetermined reference point and providing an orientation signal indicative of that orientation, said position indicating means comprising a position indicating device and globe rotating means for rotating said global model in dependence upon said orientation signal in such a way as to place the point on the said global model in alignment with said position indicating device.

Alternatively, in such apparatus the position indicating device is preferably movable under the control of said position indicating means in accordance with the point to be indicated. In this case it is desirable for the global model to be rotatable with respect thereto and for the apparatus to further comprise orientation determining means for determining the orientation of the model relative to a predetermined reference point and providing an orientation signal indicative of that orientation, which signal is employed by said position indicating means in determining where to move said position indicating device.

In apparatus embodying the first, second or third aspect of the present invention it is desirable for the position indicating device or position indicating means, as the case may be, to comprise a member supporting a graticule or the like, such member preferably being a quadrant. However, other forms of position indicating device or means may be used, such as one employing a beam of light, for example, to indicate the selected point.

Reference will now be made, by way of example, to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure 1 shows a first embodiment of apparatus according to the first and second aspects of the present invention;

Figure 2 shows an embodiment of part of the apparatus shown in Figure 1;

Figure 3 shows an alternative embodiment of the part shown in Figure 2;

Figure 4 shows a second embodiment of apparatus according to the first and second aspects of the present invention;

Figure 5 is a third embodiment of apparatus according to the first and second aspects of the present invention;

Figure 6(a) is a schematic diagram of another part of the apparatus shown in Figure 1;

Figure 6(b) is a schematic diagram of part of the apparatus shown in Figure 4 or 5;

Figure 7 is a schematic diagram of a portion of the apparatus shown in Figure 6(a);

Figure 8 shows apparatus embodying the third aspect of the present invention; and Figure 9 is a schematic diagram of part of the apparatus shown in Figure 8.

The apparatus shown in Figure 1 comprises a spherical global model 1 representing an astronomical body. The global model 1 is seated on, but not fixed to, a base unit 2. The upper surface 3 of the base unit 2 is formed with a circular depression 3a for receiving part of the global model 1. As shown in Figure 2, mounted on a surface 3b of the depression 3a are three spherical balls 4a, which serve as respective rotation detection devices of rotation detection means 4' (see Figures 6(a) and 7). Each ball 4a is mounted in such a way as to be rotatable whilst being retained on the base unit 2.

When the global model 1 is seated on the base unit 2 parts of the surface of the global model 1 are in contact with the balls 4a. The balls 4a and the surface of the global model 1 are such that rotation of the global model 1 in any direction causes each of the balls 4a to rotate as a result of friction. The extent and direction of rotation of each ball 4a can be sensed by rotation sensing means 4b of the apparatus which produce a first signal φ^ indicative of the extent and direction of the rotation.

Although the rotation detection means 4' in this embodiment is described as having three balls, it may be possible to use just one or two such balls, or may be preferable to employ more than three. Furthermore, instead of spherical balls 4a, the rotation detection devices may take the form of respective rollers 4c, as shown in Figure 3, hemispheres, or any other element of appropriate shape provided that it can rotate with the global model 1 in at least one direction and that a sufficient number of such elements are employed in an arrangement suitable for ensuring that movement of the global model 1 can be sensed in all rotational directions.

When information relating to a location of interest on the astronomical body concerned is desired, the global model 1 is manually rotated until a selected point on the global model 1 which corresponds to the location of interest is aligned with a position indicating device 5 comprising a graticule 5a supported by a member 5b, in this case a guadrantal support, connected to the base unit 2.

The rotation of the global model 1 is detected by the rotation detection means 4' , which produce a first signal φ-^ indicative of the extent and direction of the rotation. This signal φ-^ is supplied to position determining means 6 of the apparatus (see Figure 6(a)) which can calculate the position of the selected point on the global model 1 relative to a predetermined reference point, the position determining means 6 including a memory 6a for keeping track of the movements of the global model 1. In this embodiment, the graticule is aligned with the reference point when a pair of electrical contacts 7a spaced apart on the surface of the global model 1 are in contact with a pair of electrical contacts 7b formed respectively on two of the balls 4a. The position calculated by the position determining means 6 is supplied to control means 8 of the apparatus in the form of a second signal Φ2, the control means 8 being operable to employ that signal to access an electronic database containing information about the astronomical body concerned. The electronic database may be held in an external device connected to receive the second signal Φ2 from the control means, or may be held within the apparatus itself, either in the base unit 2 or the global model 1.

Preferably, the surface of the global model is smooth, to allow it to rotate in an appropriate manner. However, it may be desirable for the apparatus to employ a global model showing contour relief. In this case, the global model may be housed within a smooth transparent shell.

Alternative forms of apparatus embodying the first and second aspects of the present invention are shown in Figures 4 and 5.

The apparatus of Figure 4 comprises a base unit 2' on which a frame 9 for supporting a global model 1 is provided. The frame 9 comprises a semicircular arm 9a supported by a post 9b. The global model 1 is rotatably mounted between the two ends of the arm 9a, preferably so as to be readily removable therefrom when it is desired to use a different global model 1.

Mounted on the arm 9a so as to be movable therealong is a position indicating device 9c. When a point on the global model 1 is to be selected, the position indicating device 9c is moved along the arm 9a and/or the global model 1 is rotated until the device 9c is aligned with the selected point, the apparatus of Figure 4 being provided with movement sensing means 4 (Figure 6(b)) for sensing the relative movement of the position indicating device 9c and global model 1 and providing a first signal φ^ indicative thereof. As shown in Figure 4, the movement sensing means 4 could comprise a rotation sensor 4d, located on the axis of rotation of the global model 1 between the model 1 and one end of the arm 9a, for sensing rotation of the global model 1, and a measuring device 4e for measuring where on the arm 9a the position indicating device 9c can be found. The first signal φ--_ produced by the movement sensing means 4 in the apparatus of Figure 4 is processed in the same way as that produced in the apparatus of Figure 1 (Figure 6(b)).

The apparatus of Figure 5 differs from that in Figure 4 in that the global model 1 is mounted non-rotatably on the arm 9a and the position indicating device 9c is carried by an additional semicircular arm 9d which is mounted on the arm 9a so as to be rotatable about the global model 1. When a point on the global model 1 is to be selected the position of the additional arm 9d and/or the position indicating device 9c movable therealong it are adjusted until the device 9c is aligned with the selected point. The apparatus of Figure 5 is provided with movement sensing means 4 comprising a rotation sensor 4d for sensing the rotation of the additional arm 9d about the global model 1 and a measuring device 4e for measuring where on the additional arm 9d the position indicating device 9c can be found.

It will be found apparent that the apparatus of Figure 4 could be combined with that of Figure 5 so as to produce apparatus embodying the first and second aspects of the present invention in which both the global model 1 and position indicating device 9c were movable.

Apparatus embodying the third aspect of the present invention will now be described with reference to Figures 8 and 9. In Figure 8 a global model 1 is mounted on a frame 9 comprising a post 9b connected to a base unit 2' and supporting a semicircular arm 9a and an additional semicircular arm 9d. An indicator 9c' is mounted on the additional arm 9d so as to be movable therealong under the control of position indicating means 14 of the apparatus. The position indicating means 14 are operable, upon receipt of a command from accessing means 12 of the apparatus to move the additional arm 9d and the indicator 9c' mounted on it in such a way as to place the indicator 9c' in alignment with a point on the global model 1 corresponding to a location of interest. Thus, a user of the apparatus can find a point on the global model 1 corresponding to a location of interest by entering data identifying the location of, interest into the accessing means 12 which are operable to obtain from a database 10' associated with the global model 1 concerned information identifying the point desired and to issue an appropriate command to the position indicating means 14.

It will be appreciated that the apparatus of Figures 1, 4 or 5 could be modified in such a way as to have position indicating means operable in an alternative mode upon receipt of a command from accessing means 12 to move the global model 1, in the case of Figure 1, the position indicating device 9c and global model 1 in the case of Figure 4, and the position indicating device 9c and the additional arm 9d in the case of Figure 5, so as to find a desired point on the global model 1. For example, the rotation detection devices 4a of Figure 1 may be employed to cause the global model 1 to rotate.

In all embodiments discussed above the global model 1 is preferably mounted so as to be readily replaceable by another global model 1, and it is envisaged that a range of different global models 1 will be available for use with the same equipment.

With reference to the apparatus shown in Figures 1, 4 and 5, it is desirable for each of the position determining means 6 and control means 8 to be housed within the base unit 2, 2', or within the global model 1, or divided between the two, but these means could be housed in an external device or devices. Similarly with reference to the apparatus of Figure 8, the accessing means 12 and the position indicating means 14 are desirably housed within the base unit 2' , or within the global model 1, or divided between the two, but could be housed in an external device or devices.

Although not illustrated in any of the embodiments described above, it may be desirable in some circumstances to have the global model 1 suspended from a suitable support structure.

Another desirable feature is for the global model to be illuminated during use by either internal or external means. It may also be desirable for use of the apparatus to be accompanied by sound issuing from the global model 1 itself or some other associated source.

The apparatus may advantageously be provided with means for rotating the global model 1. For example, in the apparatus of Figure 1 those means could include a re ractable pin, such as a phono or jack plug, for engaging a socket in the global model 1 when it is not in use and causing the model 1 to rotate. Illumination means provided within the global model 1 could also be supplied with power via the pin concerned, which could additionally or alternatively serve to keep the model 1 in place on the base unit 2 when not in use.

The information output from the database 10, 10' could be presented to a user of the apparatus in the form of written or spoken words, and/or moving or still visual images, and/or sound. Furthermore, the apparatus could interact, or be provided, with means for displaying to a user of the apparatus the latitude and/or longitude (or other coordinates if appropriate) of the location corresponding to the point aligned with the position indicating device or indicator.

It is envisaged that it may be possible to display the desired information within the global model itself. For example, the global model may consist of a smooth transparent shell, on which the features of the astronomical body are represented, housing within it a globe on the surface of which one or more image display devices are provided. In some circumstances it may be desirable to employ the image display device(s) to display the features of the astronomical body concerned, rather than represent them on a transparent shell, until the or each device is switched so as to display information about a location of interest.

Information output from the database 10, 10' is desirably fed back to the graticule 5a, which in that case advantageously comprises a liquid crystal display (LCD) or any other suitable means wherein the fed-back information can be displayed to the user of the apparatus. Alternative forms of position indicating device 5, 9c or indicator 9c' may be used, for example a beam of light directed onto the global model 1 (from within or without) from a device supported by the base unit 2. The member or arm on which the position indicating device 5a, 9c or indicator 9c' is mounted is desirably calibrated. In view of the considerable amount of data which can be obtained, and which may be required to be stored, through use of apparatus embodying the various aspects of the invention, it may be desirable to provide further user friendly features to assist interaction between the apparatus used and the user, as well as between users. For example, smart cards, virtual reality, voice activation and/or network systems could be utilised. Amongst other things, smart cards may enable user dependent data to be incorporated in displaying information, such as previously stored information and modes of display. Virtual reality may, for example, enable the user to manipulate a plain globe, but with an apparent 3D surface contour or interior. Virtual reality may also enhance the display of celestial information provided by allowing the wearer to see particular imaginary bodies distant to the apparatus which could be easily moved simply by rotation of the globe. Voice activation may allow easier access to the information and may be particularly helpful for use with virtual reality by allowing control of the apparatus by means of vocal commands, for example to permit easily variable magnification of the viewed information, etc. In addition, smart cards may also provide the necessary voice recognition data to allow ease of use with several users. Lastly, through use of computer links, such as telephone modems and the like, databases may be accessed to provide the user with a considerable amount of information or other users may be accessed for interactive communication.

Claims

CLAIMS :
1. Apparatus for use in providing desired information relating to a location of interest on the Earth, its moon, or other astronomical body, which apparatus comprises a global model representing the astronomical body concerned, support means for supporting said global model, a position indicating device for indicating a selected point on said global model corresponding to said location of interest, the apparatus being operable such that indication of said selected point can be achieved by bringing about relative movement between said global model and said position indicating device until said device is aligned with the selected point, movement sensing means for sensing such relative movement between the global model and said position indicating device and providing a first signal indicative of the extent and direction of that movement, position determining means connected to receive said first signal and operable, when the apparatus is in use, to employ said first signal to produce a second signal representing the position of the selected point relative to a predetermined reference point, and control means operable to employ said second signal to access an electronic database for providing said desired information relating to said location of interest.
2. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein said global model can be removed and replaced when desired by another global model representing the same or a different astronomical body.
3. Apparatus as claimed in claim 2, wherein each global model used has a separate electronic database associated therewith.
4. Apparatus as claimed in claim 2, wherein said electronic database is common to each global model used.
5. Apparatus as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein said movement sensing means are housed within said support means.
6. Apparatus as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein said control means are housed within said support means.
7. Apparatus as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein said position determining means are housed within said support means.
8. Apparatus as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 6, wherein the or each global model houses said position determining means.
9. Apparatus as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 5, or in claim 7 or 8 when read as appended to any one of claims 1 to 5, wherein the or each global model houses said control means
10. Apparatus as claimed in claim 3, or in any one of claims 5 to 9 when read as appended to claim 3, wherein the or each global model houses the electronic database associated therewith.
11. Apparatus for use in providing desired information relating to a location of interest on the Earth, its moon or other astronomical body represented by a global model supported by support means of the apparatus when the apparatus is in use, which apparatus comprises a position indicating device for indicating a selected point on said global model corresponding to said location of interest, the apparatus being operable such that indication of said selected point can be achieved by bringing about relative movement between said global model and said position indicating device until said device is aligned with the selected point, movement sensing means for sensing such relative movement between the global model and said position indicating device and providing a first signal indicative of the extent and direction of that movement, position determining means connected to receive said first signal and operable, when the apparatus is in use, to employ said first signal to produce a second signal representing the position of the selected point relative to a predetermined reference point, and control means operable to employ said second signal to access an electronic database for providing desired information relating to said location of interest.
12. Apparatus as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein said global model is rotatably supported by said support means and said movement sensing means comprise rotation detection means for detecting rotation of the model relative to the support means, said first signal being indicative of the extent and direction of that rotation.
13. Apparatus as claimed in claim 12, wherein said global model is supported so as to be rotatable in all directions.
14. Apparatus as claimed in claim 13, wherein said position indicating device is fixedly mounted on said support means.
15. Apparatus as claimed in claim 13 or 14, wherein the rotation detection means comprise at least one rotation detection device mounted in such a way that when the apparatus is in use said device is in contact with the surface of said model and frictional coupling between the model and the device when the former is caused to rotate relative to the support means brings about corresponding rotation of said device, the rotation detection means further comprising rotation sensing means for sensing such rotation of the device and generating said first signal.
16. Apparatus as claimed in claim 15, wherein the rotation detection means comprise three such rotation detection devices, said rotation sensing means being operable to sense rotation of each device and the first signal being produced thereby in dependence upon the rotation of each device.
17. Apparatus as claimed in claim 15 or 16, wherein the or each rotation detection device comprises a spherical ball.
18. Apparatus as claimed in claim 16, wherein each rotation detection device comprises a cylindrical roller.
19. Apparatus as claimed in any one of claims 12 to 18, further comprising indexing means, connected to receive an indexing signal indicating that the said position indicating device is aligned with said predetermined reference point on the global model, for use in indexing the apparatus on said predetermined reference point at the start of use.
20. Apparatus as claimed in claim 19, wherein said indexing signal is supplied to the indexing means by a user of the apparatus when the relative positions of the global model and position indicating device have been adjusted such that the said position indicating device is aligned with the predetermined reference point.
21. Apparatus as claimed in claim 20, wherein the indexing means comprise a manually-operable key or switch.
22. Apparatus as claimed in claim 19, wherein respective pairs of electrical contacts are provided on said support means and the surface of said global model such that said indexing signal is generated when the pair of electrical contacts provided on said global model are in contact with those on said support means.
23. Apparatus as claimed in any preceding claim which can be switched so as to operate in an alternative operational mode in which a location of interest on the astronomical body concerned can be found on said global model, the apparatus further comprising accessing means, for receiving data identifying said location of interest and accessing the or another electronic database in such a way as to ascertain therefrom the point on said global model which corresponds to said location of interest, and position indicating means connected to said accessing means for indicating to a user of the apparatus said point on said model.
24. Apparatus as claimed in claim 23, wherein said position indicating means comprise a movable indicator.
25. Apparatus as claimed in claim 24, wherein said position indicating means are connected to employ said second signal in determining where to move said indicator.
26. Apparatus as claimed in claim 23, when read as appended to any one of claims 12 to 22, further comprising globe rotating means for rotating said global model in dependence upon said second signal in such a way as to place the point on said global model in alignment with said position indicating means.
27. Apparatus as claimed in claim 26, wherein said globe rotating means employ the or each rotation detection device to bring about rotation of said global model.
28. Apparatus as claimed in claim 23, 26 or 27, or claim 24 or 25 when read as appended to any one of claims 1 to 13 or any one of claims 15 to 22, wherein said position indicating means include said position indicating device.
29. Apparatus as claimed in any preceding claim, operable to present at least some of the desired information in the form of written words.
30. Apparatus as claimed in any preceding claim, operable to present at least some of the desired information in the form of visual images.
31. Apparatus as claimed in claim 29 or 30, wherein said information is displayed within, or on the surface of, the global model.
32. Apparatus as claimed in claim 31, wherein said global model comprises a smooth transparent shell within which a globe carrying on its surface one or more image displaying devices is provided.
33. Apparatus as claimed in claim 31, wherein said global model is provided on its surface with one or more image display devices and the apparatus is operable alternatively to employ the or each image display device to display the features of the astronomical body concerned or said desired information.
34. Apparatus as claimed in any preceding claim, operable to present at least some of the desired information in the form of sound.
35. Apparatus as hereinbefore described with reference to Figures 1, 2, 6(a) and 7, Figures 1, 3,
6(a) and 7, Figures 4 and 6(b), Figures 5 and 6(b), or Figures 4, 5 and 6(b) of the accompanying drawings.
36. Apparatus for finding, with reference to a global model representing the Earth, its moon or other astronomical body which is supported by the apparatus when in use, a location of interest on the astronomical body concerned, which apparatus comprises accessing means, for receiving data identifying said location of interest and accessing an electronic database in such a way as to ascertain therefrom the point on said global model which corresponds to said location of interest, and position indicating means connected to said accessing means for indicating to a user of the apparatus said point on said model.
37. Apparatus as claimed in claim 36, wherein said global model is rotatable with respect thereto. the apparatus further comprising orientation determining means for determining the orientation of the model relative to a predetermined reference point and providing an orientation signal indicative of that orientation, said position indicating means comprising a position indicating device and globe rotating means for rotating said global model in dependence upon said orientation signal in such a way as to place the point on the said global model in alignment with said position indicating device.
38. Apparatus as claimed in claim 36, wherein said position indicating device is movable under the control of said position indicating means in accordance with the point to be indicated.
39. Apparatus as claimed in claim 38, wherein said global model is rotatable with respect thereto, the apparatus further comprising orientation determining means for determining the orientation of the model relative to a predetermined reference point and providing an orientation signal indicative of that orientation, which signal is employed by said position indicating means in determining where to move said position indicating device.
40. Apparatus as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein said position indicating device or position indicating means, as the case may be, comprises a member supporting a graticule or the like.
41. Apparatus as claimed in claim 40, wherein said member is a quadrant.
42. Apparatus as hereinbefore described with reference to Figures 8 and 9 of the accompanying drawings.
PCT/GB1994/000471 1993-03-10 1994-03-10 Globes WO1994022123A2 (en)

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GB939304938A GB9304938D0 (en) 1993-03-10 1993-03-10 Globes
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DE10315389A1 (en) * 2003-04-04 2004-10-28 Metzinger, Hans-Gerd, Dr. Globe with sensitive surface, allows points on map to be selected for computer processing by touching globe surface
US20120286122A1 (en) * 2010-02-03 2012-11-15 Rohde & Schwarz Gmbh & Co. Kg Holding Device and System for Positioning a Device for a Wireless Communication in a Measurement System

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US4530666A (en) * 1984-07-20 1985-07-23 Triplett James T Walk-in globe
WO1987004834A1 (en) * 1986-02-03 1987-08-13 Pachler Froehlich Ingrid Cartographic device
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US3377719A (en) * 1964-10-06 1968-04-16 Roman B. Kroitor Globe navigation simulator
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WO1994008326A1 (en) * 1992-09-30 1994-04-14 Pachler Froehlich Ingrid Map device with place indicator

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* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
DE10315389A1 (en) * 2003-04-04 2004-10-28 Metzinger, Hans-Gerd, Dr. Globe with sensitive surface, allows points on map to be selected for computer processing by touching globe surface
US20120286122A1 (en) * 2010-02-03 2012-11-15 Rohde & Schwarz Gmbh & Co. Kg Holding Device and System for Positioning a Device for a Wireless Communication in a Measurement System

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
GB9304938D0 (en) 1993-04-28
AU6155394A (en) 1994-10-11
WO1994022123A3 (en) 1996-09-19

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