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A signpost for the Universe



Space Signpost: Welcome to the Neighbourhood
Welcome to the Neighbourhood is a combination of sculpture, multimedia and patent pending technology that helps people to inhabit the solar system (without leaving the surface of the Earth). A signpost in a street, a park or some other public place points directly at objects in space, tracking them as they move across the sky, displaying their name and their exact distance from the sign’s location with an electronic display. Close to the signpost is a kiosk with a touchscreen from which passers-by can select objects for the sign to point to. Users’ relationship with the cosmos is transformed through interaction with the installation.

Any object in the Solar System can be selected, including spacecraft. The whole system is modelled in the computer. (It takes just minutes to add objects such as newly discovered planets.)

As the sign slews round to its target, the computer takes the user through space to a detailed three-dimensional representation of the object, illuminated by a virtual Sun. The user then has the option of navigating through the model or calling up information about what the object would be like to visit. Users can also change the rate at which time passes in the model (for instance to observe the orbits of the moons of Jupiter or how day and night passes on Earth).


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Space Signpost for you?

Logos for Futurelab and GovEd

External Space Signpost installation


Intuitive, customisable touchscreen interface

Children with a portable Space Signpost






Who made this?
Welcome to the Neighbourhood is an initiative of Adam Nieman, developed in collaboration with Futurelab. See here for a fuller list of credits.

The project has been supported by Futurelab, Copus, Department of Trade and Industry and NESTA.



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