MapCarte 165/365: FIFA Development Globe by Studio NAND and Moritz Stefaner, 2012


View the web map by clicking the image above

Globes are always powerful symbols and more and more use of them is being made in the online world, largely as a result of the impact that Google Earth has had and people’s appetite for rotating, panning and zooming earth-like objects. We have always spun globes…we are just now able to do it digitally as well as we can the desk globe.

Moritz Stefaner, in collaboration with Studio NAND, Medienfabrik and Jens Franke have designed a truly abstract globe to act as a container for thematic detail relating to FIFA’s football related educational activities worldwide. The digital medium supports such an abstract approach well with countries and continents constructed from tessalated triangles. Triangles also follow through to the symbology used to represent the different activity with numeric and qualitative information being assigned. Symbols can be filtered and, of course, the globe can be manipulated to focus on specific countries.

As the globe spins we see the inverse of landmasses through what is, in effect, a transparent model. This could cause visual clutter but the elegant abstract nature of the approach allows the design to capitalize on the aesthetic.

Colours, graphs, statistics and navigation are all intuitive and the application performs smoothly. There are focus-context changes made all the time as you spin the globe to bring different information into view and you can filter any amount of the content. There’s even an ambient low-level soundtrack to provide an aural abstract experience at the same time as interacting with the globe and various clicks and indications that some state change has been implemented by the user controlling the map.

A globe is an enjoyable experience because it’s tactile and allows you to see what’s round the corner as it is spun. This digital version is no less tactile which is a success for a digital application.

More detail on Moritz Stefaner’s web site here.