Tap any location and this interactive globe will display photos you took there

Considering how much fun vacations are, there are few things less interesting than looking through a slideshow of someone else’s holiday snaps.

Could part of that reason be that boringly clicking through a series of folders does not exactly capture the globe-trotting fun of setting off on a voyage into the unknown? If so, then Caroline Buttet’s do-it-yourself solution may offer a bit of help. No, it is never going to entirely get around the problem that looking at pictures of someone else enjoying themselves just reminds you of how long it is since you took a vacay yourself — but it at least makes the experience a bit more fun for the viewer.

What Buttet has created is a touch-sensitive globe that displays the photos belonging to whichever country you tap. “Globe Trotter is a tangible picture viewer, especially designed to make vacation picture viewing more enjoyable,” she told Digital Trends. “It consists of an interactive globe that is linked to a computer via an Arduino, which interacts with a webpage. It allows the user to browse pictures ordered by country, by physically touching any country on the globe. The user can then spin the globe back and forth to view the images, like in a slideshow.”

globe trotter diy photo covr

Building a capacitive globe sounds like hard work. In fact, Buttet achieved the effect using a (relatively) simple hack: She stuck a thumbtack in each country, with the sharp end inside the globe connecting to a wire that links to the Arduino.

“Globe Trotter is just a proof of concept, and therefore there is still a lot of improvements that can be made,” she continued. “These include things like integration of geotags, automatic sorting of photos, and finding a way to make it wireless. I made the prototype just for fun, with no thought of commercializing it or anything like that. But lately I’ve started to get requests from people over the internet. If enough people are interested, maybe I’ll publish the code and go open source at some point.”