Project’s sphere of influence highlighted by NASA

Published: 8 May 2017 at 12:00

NASA globe

Exhibit unveiled to visualise global vision research led by Anglia Ruskin professor

Technology from NASA is helping to mark the 10th anniversary of an influential global vision research project led by an Anglia Ruskin University professor.

Professor Rupert Bourne has led the Vision Loss Expert Group (VLEG) in compiling the Global Vision Database, a comprehensive database of population-based prevalence eye surveys, dating from 1980 to 2014, from published and unpublished sources. It includes estimates of numbers of blind and vision impaired by region/worldwide, by age, by sex and by cause. It forms part of the larger Global Burden of Disease study, the most comprehensive worldwide epidemiological study to date.

Now the group has worked with NASA to build an exhibit for the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) annual meeting taking place in Baltimore, United States this week. The exhibit, entitled World Vision on a Sphere, is an enormous globe onto which key data from the research is projected.

The ARVO meeting runs until 11 May and is the largest gathering of eye and vision researchers in the world, attracting over 11,000 attendees from more than 75 countries.

Bourne, Professor of Ophthalmology at Anglia Ruskin’s Vision and Eye Research Unit (VERU), said:

“We are very grateful to NASA and Science on a Sphere for providing the visualisation technology for this fantastic exhibit. World Vision on a Sphere promises to be quite a sensation at this hugely important event.

“The Global Vision Database has been a 10-year project that is hugely influential in helping policy-makers and healthcare providers identify trends and patterns in eye disorders and aid treatment and prevention. This exhibit is a fitting way to showcase our research.”

More information about the Global Vision Database can be found at