The Earth under the Microscope

Satellite images show the Earth as a tangible object under a microscope, through which we can zoom in and explore. Scientists use this data for research purposes every day — and now, so can you! Visit our interactive exhibition next January in Munich.


The Earth under the Microscope exhibit will be on display at the Science Communication Lab of Deutsche Museum from 09.01.2023 - 05.02.2023. This project offers a change of perspectives by means of an immersive exhibition on global food security and Planetary Health. The core is the interaction between visitors, researchers and research data. In addition to approachable facts and appealing information graphics, the exhibition also comes with interactive elements: a data installation allows visitors to explore real satellite images of agricultural areas and scientists enter into a dialog with visitors on site. Visitors will be able to explore agricultural fields in Earth observation data and understand the relevance of data science for tackling global challenges on food systems and food availability. One example is to gain a deeper understanding on how AI can be used to auto-classify crop-types in large-scale datasets.


The Earth under the Microscope project is designed as a science communication experiment. The impact of the elements of the exhibition on visitors will be evaluated in an approachable and playful way. Key questions are: Do these elements promote a deep engagement with the exhibition theme and a long-lasting understanding of it? The theme of food security is of high societal relevance but scientifically highly complex. Can the exhibition make it more comprehensible?  How can the features of the exhibition encourage visitors to enter into dialogue with scientists on site? As a dialogue is always a two-way street, also the perspective of the contributing scientists will be evaluated. 





The project is funded by the Munich Science Communication Lab. Earth observation data used for the exhibit were extracted and prepared with the help of a Helmholtz AI Voucher and by a Helmholtz AI consultant at DLR. The large dataset on European agricultural practices which was used, was provided by the EuroCrops project at the Chair of Remote Sensing Technology at TUM. The team behind this project is multidisciplinary and offers a scientific breadth of perspectives onto Planetary Health from data science, information design, astronomy, agroecology and sustainable agriculture, earth observation and artificial intelligence, science communication and interactive exhibition design. 


Another display of this exhibition is anticipated for early-mid 2023 at BIOTOPIA Lab. Stay tuned to know more! .