Activation of one of the pads simultaneously with the center pad will speed up the pace of navigation. Simultaneous activation of the pads marked with plus or minus will result in zooming in and out respectively. The installation was created by Jens Franke and Thomas Gläser. The project was carried out within the framework of the Arduino Workshop at the Design College HfG Schwäbisch Gmünd November 2006, under the supervision of Massimo Banzi, one of the inventors of Arduino.
Functions of The Earthwalk:
The user navigates on the earth’s surface using five footpads. The arrows represent the cardinal points as heading directions. Activation of one of the pads simultaneously with the center pad will speed up the pace of navigation. Simultaneous activation of the pads marked with plus or minus will result in zooming in and out respectively.
Goals of The Earthwalk:
We had the intention to take the application out of the screen and we succeeded. Everyone – no matter, what cultural heritage and educational background they share – can use our interface, play with it and experience how it feels to control a huge map while walking on it. Therefore, people passing by can easily contribute and don‘t need any instructions before starting up. Moreover, people surrounding the application seem to intensify communication. While advising strangers and sharing their favorite destinations, they overcome personal inhibitions and start interacting.
The Earthwalk enables particularly uneducated children to develop a sense for distances, navigation and geography in a playful way. Their interest in natural sciences is awakened; thus, the installation could be used for the support of school and university lessons as well. Using The Earthwalk is a simple process of playing and learning.
The functions of The Earthwalk could likewise be combined with other applications which benefit from navigation by means of natural movement instead of complicated input devices.