Dagik Earth enables digital globe projection using iPads (28 April 2016)

Published on

On 28 April, the Japanese version of the Dagik Earth digital globe app for iPad, developed by Associate Professor Akinori Saito of the Graduate School of Science and his colleagues, in collaboration with the National Institute of Information and Communication Technology (NICT), became available for download from the Japanese App Store. School teachers can now easily generate digital globes, such as might typically be on display in a science museum, for classroom geophysical and space science education.

An English version is slated for release in September 2016.

The Dagik Earth app for iPad can be downloaded free of charge for use in research or education contexts, and does not run on iPhones nor on first-generation iPads.


Digital globes, which present accurate images of the Earth as viewed from outer space, can be highly useful for studying and teaching geoscientific and planetary phenomena. However, most of existing systems are designed for institutional settings, such as museums, with space and other requirements that make them impractical for classroom use.

Given these circumstances, Professor Saito and his team set out to create a smaller and classroom-friendly digital globe system. This resulted in the original Dagik Earth app, which works with a regular PC and projector to display images of Earth on spherical screens in relatively small spaces. Thanks to these features, Dagik Earth has been embraced by a growing number of schools as well as science centers.

With this earlier version of the application, however, downloading new content and switching modes involved steps that inexperienced users could find difficult to navigate.

Dagik Earth for iPad

In addition to offering an improved user interface, the Dagik Earth App for iPad boasts some 90 add-on modes, including cloud and earthquake distribution maps as well as images of the Moon, Mars, and Sun. It can also display real-time images and precipitation maps of Earth downloaded from the Himawari 8 weather satellite, and comes with loop and shuffle options to facilitate smooth presentation.

Dagik Earth on display

Dagik Earth digital globes can be viewed at the following museums:

  • Shirase Antarctic Expedition Memorial Museum (Nikaho City, Akita)
  • Maebashi Jido Bunka Center (Maebashi City, Gunma)
  • National Institute of Polar Research (Tachikawa City, Tokyo)
  • Dream 21 -- Higashi Osaka Municipal Child Cultural Sport Center (Higashi-Osaka City, Osaka)
  • Osaka Science Museum (Osaka City, Osaka)
  • Saga Prefectural Space & Science Museum (Takeo City, Saga)

Professor Saito demoing the Dagik Earth iPad app

Dagik Earth in a classroom (used with a 1 m-diameter screen)


Related departments & centers