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 IU Trident Indiana University

The FIFA 2014 World Cup: Creating an engaging global event experience around the Science On a Sphere

Project Leads: Karla Vega, AVL, UITS Research Technologies

Advanced Visualization Lab, Visualization and Analytics, UITS Research Technologies

World Cup balls on SOS
Figure 1. Screenshot from an interactive, touchable kiosk used to control the Science On a Sphere, showing the 20 different match balls used in the history of the World Cup.

A multidisciplinary team of students, faculty, and staff from the Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing, School of Journalism, and the UITS Advanced Visualization Lab worked together to develop an engaging visual and interactive experience around the 2014 FIFA World Cup for display on the Scienceon- a-Sphere (SOS) system. The World Cup is a unique and global event that captures the attention of all audiences. The purpose of this project was to bring together different disciplines and exploit the unique capabilities of the Science On a Sphere system. This student-led effort resulted in an interactive application showcasing the rich history of the official World Cup match balls from 1930 to 2014. As well, several visualizations were created to illustrate historic participation, tournament bracket, and World Cup news, showcasing the variety of applications possible through the system. Finally, the official match balls datasets were distributed to over 106 SOS sites around the world through the SOS community.

Students from Indiana University had the opportunity to work with faculty and staff in designing, developing, and implementing new visualizations. The project demonstrated the opportunities and benefits of working in multidisciplinary teams. The resulting work was distributed to the SOS community. The software and workflows developed for this project will be re-purposed to showcase future IUcentric datasets.

Over the summer of 2014, the AVL recruited student interns to help develop new tools and visualizations for the Science On a Sphere system. Participating Indiana University students included graduates and undergraduates from Human Computer Interaction, Computer Science, and Journalism.

IU's Advanced Visualization Lab is funded through the Office of the Vice President for Information Technology; is a unit of UITS Research Technologies; and is affiliated with the Pervasive Technology Institute. For questions about this project or to request a consultation, please contact

NSF GSS Codes:

Primary Field: Multidisciplinary Studies (980) - Science, Technology, and Society

Secondary Field: Computer Science (401) - Information Science/Studies