Father of the Orb
The Orb certainly isn't the first ever idea for a dynamically controlled, three dimensional, global display. Once upon a time in 1962 a man named Buckminster Fuller (Wikipedia) conceived a proposal for a project 200 feet in diameter and covered with 10,000,000 computer controlled light sources, called The Geoscope, to be suspended over the East River in full view of the United Nations.
This 200-foot-size Geoscope would make it possible for humans to identify the true scale of themselves and their activities on this planet. Humans could thus comprehend much more readily that their personal survival problems related intimately to all humanity's survival.
The Geoscope's electronic computers will store all relevant inventories of world data arranged chronologically, in the order and spacing of discovery, as they have occurred throughout all known history.
Historical patterns too slow for the human eye to comprehend, such as the multimillions-of-years-to-transpire changes in the geology of our planet -- for instance, the picturing on the Geoscope Earth in two minutes of the drifting apart of the continental plates.
Or in another four-minute sequence picturing, the last four one-million-years each ice ages, spaced 250,000 years apart, their transforming of the world's oceans into ice cappings, which water shifts reveals peninsulas interconnecting what we now know only as islands -- for instance, the Malay Peninsula including all of Java, Sumatra, Borneo, Bali, Sulawesi, and the Philippines, as it did in the last ice age.
Original concept sketch of Geoscope by Buckminster Fuller, via The Architecture Department, University of Auckland