Digital Globe

The Digital Globe is a project by 51Degrees and Away Studios that explores the delivery of native application experiences and data visualisations directly in your mobile web browser.

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About this project

The cones are located at geographic positions where web activity has been observed from devices manufactured by the selected vendor. The width and height of the cone is a relative indicator of the percentage of web activity attributable to the vendor at the location and selected time. The wider and higher the cone the more popular the vendor. As time is a factor in the percentage calculation the cone will typically reduce during the night time hours and grow during the day.

51Degrees provide web site optimisation and analytics services to millions of web sites and businesses. Some of these web sites share anonymous usage information. Over 30,000,000,000 data points were aggregated in 2014. The Digital Globe contains aggregated data from November 2014 to February 2015 inclusive.

The Away Foundation builds & maintains free open source software resources for use in graphics-rich applications on the Web. The Digital Globe uses a new accelerated graphics library called AwayJS, the latest to be produced by The Away Foundation. AwayJS implements a Web API known as WebGL that is rapidly becoming a graphics standard for many web-enabled devices, including the latest iOS and Android platforms. By leveraging the power of WebGL, AwayJS is able to offer lightening-fast graphics rendering in a browser, with compatibility across a wide range of devices. This makes real-time data visualisations such as those see here a realistic prospect for future browser-based apps.

Yes. The project demonstrates that all main stream web devices can now deliver native application experiences in a web browser. This technology has 2 key advantages over native apps.

  1. The cost of developing applications will reduce as separate versions won’t be needed for each different type of device and operating system. One version will run everywhere.
  2. Loading applications will be as simple as accessing a web address. No need for app stores.

These advantages will have a profound impact on the mobile web and application business model over the next few years. You saw it here first.

Over the past few years the small screen of a smartphone has become our preferred way to quickly access information. Presenting complex data sets to such a constrained screen is a challenge. The Digital Globe explores one way an intuitive user interface can be created to generate a fantastic user experience. The proof of concept that can be used with any global data set. Technical challenges associated with aggregating and delivering large datasets to bandwidth constrained devices, supporting multiple web browsers and devices, and optimising the user interface have all been overcome.

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This project was produced by: