Realtime Globe in webgl

Posted at January 18, 2015

I just open sourced the globe behind the Realtime Bitcoin Globe. When I published the globe almost a year ago it was based on this awesome project by the Google Data Arts team. That project is great for plotting data in a very specific way (a barchart plotted in 3d on a 3d earth. At that time it took me quite a bit of hacking to make it work for my needs.

I just got around to rewriting the globe from scratch (well, on top of three.js) and I figured why not open source it.

gif of the globe

The main idea is that you can use it as a base for showing something that is happening in realtime somewhere on earth. It currently only supports two different block types (a static one, and a “levitating” one that gets pulled out of the earth), but adding more should be fairly straight forward. I am open to pull requests.

I already made one for showing realtime bitcoin transactions, but you can use the globe as a base for:

  • Showing tweets with a specific hashtag in realtime.
  • Showing instagram posts with a specific tag in realtime (with a preview for example).
  • Showing visitors on your website in realtime.
  • Showing realtime airplanes in the sky.
  • Showing realtime foursquare checkins at fish restaurants.
  • Showing users of your app in realtime.
  • Whatever you can think of!