What is Ocean Today?

Sant Ocean HallOcean Today Kiosk

Ocean Today is an exciting, multimedia kiosk that features videos on all aspects of the ocean realm -- exploration and discoveries, marine life and science. It was originally designed for the Sant Ocean Hall in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History which opened in September 2008. Due to the popularity of the videos, Ocean Today kiosks are now located in dozens of aquariums, museums, and learning centers throughout the world. Check out our map to find a location near you to visit or watch the videos here. This website serves as online archive for those who are unable to experience it in person.

Find a Kiosk

There are kiosks in 34 public locations. View our Google Map to find a location near you. We use this iconfor public locations, this iconfor NOAA locations and this iconUpcoming Kiosk locationfor upcoming locations.

top

Get a Kiosk

Would you like a kiosk in your location? Here’s what you need to know. You are responsible for purchasing the equipment, installing software, connecting the display, and connecting to the Internet. The Ocean Today team takes it from there. All video content is provided by Ocean Today and distributed to each kiosk via the Internet.

Technology Requirements

Kiosk requirements are listed below.

Minimum Computer Specs

  • 2.6 Ghz or better CPU, running Windows 7 (32-bit only)
  • 4 Gb of RAM
  • Graphics card with 512 Mbs of video memory
  • Display supporting 1280x720 pixel screen resolution at 32 bit depth (millions of colors)
  • Stereo sound card
  • USB port
  • High speed Internet connection

Touch Screen Display

  • 42" or larger touch screen monitor is highly recommended

*** A regular computer display with a mouse or trackball can also be used.

Kiosk Display Software

  • enLighten (required)

Estimated Costs

Computer: $1,500
Touch Screen: $1,800
enLighten Software: $500

If you would like an Ocean Today kiosk contact Mike Shelby at oceankiosk@noaa.gov to get started.

top

Contribute a Video

Want to see your video on the Ocean Today kiosk? If you have a video that meets the guidelines below, fill out a proposal form and submit to oceankiosk@noaa.gov. Download the form here.

Length

Videos should be no longer than 02:00 minutes.

Audience

Language and concepts should be appropriate for a general family audience or at a 6th grade reading level. Any scientific terms should be defined or placed in context in the script.

Editorial

Video should fit into one of the following categories and satisfy at least one of the seven Ocean Literacy Principles, and fulfill the stated educational goals.

  • Fix the Ocean
  • Marine Life
  • Exploration
  • Research
  • Go Fish
  • Danger Zone

The complete editorial guidelines can be viewed here.

Videos must be reviewed for scientific accuracy prior to submission. Images, video footage, and music must be owned in whole or licensed with express permission for use on the Ocean Today kiosk and website and not infringe upon the rights of any third party.

Review Process

All proposals and videos are reviewed and selected by an independent editorial review board. They are evaluated for accuracy, balance, relevance, and appropriateness in connecting with the six categories and Ocean Literacy Principles. If a video is not accepted an explanation will be provided and the contributor has the opportunity to revise or resubmit at any time. The Smithsonian Institution has final editorial control over all content appearing on the Ocean Today kiosk in the Sant Ocean Hall. Find our complete Editorial guidelines here.

If you have any questions, please contact Mike Shelby at oceankiosk@noaa.gov.

top

SOS at NOAA in Silver Spring, MD

Partnerships

Selected Ocean Today content is available as supplementary material for NOAA's Science on a Sphere® (SOS) and SOS Explorer. Also, select videos that can be georeferenced are included for display on SOS Explorer. The SOS is a room sized, global display system that uses computers and video projectors to display planetary data onto a six foot diameter sphere, analogous to a giant animated globe. Find an SOS near you!

The SOS Explorer (SOSx) is a flat screen version of Science on a Sphere®. Download a free version of SOSx today.

top

Resources

Below are a set of Web resources we hope you will find of use.

National Museum of Natural History's Sant Ocean Hall - provides information about the the Sant Ocean Hall located in the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History

Content Interface Corporation - provides access to the company whose software is being used to access the video content on each physical kiosk.

Embross Consumer Device Services - Embross software is used to push updated content from NOAA to each kiosk in our network.

top

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. May I have permission to use images, videos, text, or other site information?
  2. How do I get a kiosk at my aquarium, learning center?
  3. Can I submit my own video to the Ocean Today kiosk?

1. May I have permission to use images, videos, text or other site information?

Ocean Today content is a free resource that is created for the education of the public. Please share any of the content on our site by using the 'Share' toolbar conveniently located on each page below the video or by using a direct URL link to the page you would like to share. We also offer an <embed> button on each page which provides the html code for placing the video content within another web page.

Please do not take the videos and sell them [for example in curriculum for teachers], and please do not alter, transform, or build upon this work, but use it in its entirety, including all credits. If you elect to use materials from this website, please cite NOAA as the source, and include the appropriate URL of the page(s) from which the materials were taken.

2. How do I get a kiosk at my aquarium, learning center?
Please review the 'Technology' section on this page to make sure you are able to support the installation. If you can or have further questions please contact us with your name, location, and the date in which you would like to have your kiosk operational.

3. Can I submit my own video to the Ocean Today kiosk?
Story contributions can come from NOAA or from the greater ocean community. If you are a NOAA employee, contact Kurt Mann, the Ocean Today executive producer, who can put you in touch with your line office representative. If you are not from NOAA, please read our entire contributor guidelines.

top