[ESIP-all] How can Earth Update help disseminate your science?

Patricia Reiff reiff at rice.edu
Thu Jan 6 10:16:10 EST 2011

Dear ESIP friends:

Bottom line - if you have some cool graphics, engaging stories, neat  
animations... and you want us to link to your website, please send me  
the link! We especially want realtime graphics... today's wave  
heights, etc., but any cool educational sample graphic that you create  
would work.

Background -
As you all know, we developed museum kiosk software "Earth Update",  
that has been on display at HMNS and at many museums since fall 2002.   
Over 20,000 copies of that software suite are out there, mostly in the  
hands of teachers.  It gets annually updated with new topics.  The  
entire software suite comprises five modules:  Atmosphere, Biosphere,  
Geosphere, Hydrosphere and Cryosphere, plus three games; TicTacToe (a  
knowledge game with rules like Hollywood Squares), HotSpots (a game to  
find the highest or lowest places on earth, and the places with the  
highest population) and DataMiner (a data plotting activity with data  
from World Resources Institute).  Each module can be a separate kiosk,  
as can TicTacToe-cryosphere versus TicTacToe-hydrosphere, etc., so at  
"Earth Forum" at HMNS there are 24 computers each showing a different  
piece of the software (e.g. each module separately, each TicTacToe  
separately).  (The TicTacToe game is by far the most popular!)  The  
museums and teachers can edit the TicTacToe game to customize the  

So, we'd like your advice on improving Earth Update!  What topics/ 
images/movies/realtime data should we include in the 2011 version?
Please check out the online version of Earth Update to see the topics  
presently in the suite:
and the online version of the activities at

The software on the DVD is NOT html - it is written in Macromedia  
Director, so that is safe for an unattended kiosk, and the price comes  
with a key for the "fullscreen" version that  blanks out the menus so  
it is safe for unattended use. And our "topics" modular system allows  
the user to customize the display with more local content.   Some of  
the data are daily updating images - for those, the software always  
remembers the most recent choice, so if you have it on a computer  
without internet access, it doesn't fail.

Anyway, if you have topics, images, animations, and activities that we  
can include on the next version of the disk, please send me a link.
If it's an image that updates daily (or weekly), etc., we need one  
that that the url doesn't change from day to day.  We will create a  
"topic" file in the relevant module (e.g. biosphere), and give you  
credit, and also have a link for "more information".  So, for each  
image or movie (almost any format), we need:
url of the graphic  (does it update daily)?
a caption for it
a title for it (does it answer if a question?  if so, give us the  
a url for "more information"



       /     \     Prof. Patricia H. Reiff
      /        \      Director, Rice Space Institute
    / _^ ^_ \     Rice University MS108, Houston, TX 77251-1892
   / /  O O  \ \     email:  reiff at rice.edu
  /  \    V    /  \     www:  http://space.rice.edu/~reiff/
/  /  ""R""  \   \
  | \  ""U""  / |    "Why does man want to go to the Moon?
    | _/|\ /|\_ |   .. Why does Rice play Texas?"..JFK, Rice Stadium,  
    /             \

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