Mississippi RiverWebSM Museum Consortium

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Geographic Modeling
Systems Laboratory

Funded by the

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Supercomputing Applications

Exhibit Integration: System


a) Console Display

As visitors explore the 3-D world in the console, they encounter icons on the landscape that signal features of interest. Moving towards an icon triggers the rendering and display of elements linked to its specific location. A very large number of such elements have to be tracked and displayed within the 3-D landscape visualization, including...

  • Icons
  • Textures and shadings
  • Heads-up displays (show driving question or basic in structions for an activity)
  • Animations
  • QuickTime panoramas
  • Field Guide pages (text and images)

  • Activities based on numerican modeling and dynamic processes (e.g., flow vectors in the channel, or rainfall droplets moving across the3-D landscape to represent surface transport).

Beyond the 3-D scene, visitors also interact with toolbar functions,
the index map (that shows the current location in the river stretch
and also permits "jumping" between locations) and...

Console view ... physical input devices (joystick, altitude lever). Visitor at Console

All of this demands a high level of integration of...

data visualization,

Computer code
network communication, and
interface functions

...within the underlying software program. Each of these interactions also has to be tracked so that the Digital River Basin responds appropriately to visitor inputs.


b) Common Display

Just as with the console, system integration in the common display also demands tight coordination of data visualization and display with visitor interactions.

Infrared camera tracking of physical tools on top of the display generates positional information to the computer, which re-renders the visualization with updated information (e.g., elevation, flood risk) linked precisely to the tool’s current placement.

Common Display tools


c) Display Communications

System Configuration

Both displays are networked with each other and share a common spatial database. This makes it possible for visitors to relate their experiences from one display to the other In affording a "big picture" of the river basin, the common display motivates further exploration in the console and provides geographical context to the latter.

Conversely, the index map in the console display echoes the larger, horizontal display and similarly facilitates orientation with respect to the entire stretch of river. As visitors navigate through the console’s 3-D scene, their location is not only indicated on the index map but also in the horizontal, large format display.



© 2003 University of Illinois Board of Trustees
Last modified: July 10, 2003