Academic Freedom Index

Time travel on the multi-touch 3D globe

The Academic Freedom Index (AFI) provides annual data on academic freedom around the world. The impressive database dates back to 1900 and contains one million data points in a statistical model that systematically calculates an index score for almost every country in the world. Garamantis had the honour of transforming this impressive database into an interactive exhibit for the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg: A multi-touch table with a 3D globe that provides intuitive access to the location and temporal evolution of the AFI.

Interactive Globe of Scientific Freedom

Garamantis developed the bilingual multi-user application in Unity3D. Users can rotate the globe by touch, select countries and compare data points. Time travel is also possible using a slider, with not only country borders and names on the globe changing in real time. All data in the graphs and detail views is also dynamic. Convenient import functions are available in the content management system to regularly update and expand the database.

Exhibition on the MS Wissenschaft

As part of the Year of Science 2024 on the theme of “Freedom”, the exhibition ship MS Wissenschaft started its tour in Berlin in May 2024, visiting around 30 larger and smaller cities in Germany and Austria. The interactive exhibition presents different perspectives on the topic of freedom. Around 30 interactive exhibits invite the public to explore different facets of freedom.

The academic exhibit, in the form of a multi-touch table, was also on display during the 75th anniversary celebrations of the Basic Law in Berlin’s government district.

The Academic Freedom Index Project

Researchers from the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg and the V-Dem Institute at the University of Gothenburg are working together on the project. More than 2,300 researchers worldwide answer standardised questions on academic freedom. This information is used to recalculate the index every year with data from all countries.

Photos: Ilja C. Hendel / Wissenschaft im Dialog


Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg

Project data

  • Client: Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg
  • Context: Science exhibit on the Academic Freedom Index
  • Realisation period: 3 months
  • Project completion: June 2024
  • 55-inch multi-touch table (4K)
  • Web-based CMS
  • Customised multi-touch software with 3D globe
Lars Lott

With Garamantis we were able to quickly create an interactive multi-touch table to visualise our data for an exhibition on the MS Wissenschaft. The project management and software implementation were focused and the end product met all our expectations. The hardware was delivered on time and the customer support is extremely service-oriented. Overall a very positive experience and working with people who were enthusiastic about working with us.

Dr. Lars Lott, Research Associate, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg

Products applied

Content Management System

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Multi-Touch Software

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House of Economy Upper Austria

Innovation hub and media presentation on 40 screens