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­ts Data Arena: How Raw Data Transforms Into 3d, 360-Degree Visualization

By CIO Australia

July 27, 2015

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Software developers at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) have developed a three-dimensional, 360-degree data visualization room. Called the Data Arena, the visualization room consists of six projectors placed around curved walls that form a round drum shape.

UTS Center for Autonomous Systems professor Jaime Valls Miro is using the Data Arena to assess the condition of water pipes to predict when they are likely to break, and says the visualization room provides a better understanding of what is happening because raw data alone can lead to a limited interpretation. Miro can rotate, turn, and zoom in and out to see the fine details of cracks and holes that have formed in the pipe.

The Data Arena is supported by nine NVIDIA Quadro K6000 graphics processing units (GPUs) with 27,000 CUDA parallel processing cores, and uses the Equalizer open source program for parallel rendering and work load balancing.

Ben Simons, one of Data Arena's developers, says the use of Houdini software, which is employed for visual effects in feature films, is what makes the visualization room unique. "What we are doing is we are taking that silo of capability in the visual effects industry and the high-performance computing, real-time GPU and we are building a bridge between the two," Simons says. "And that bridge is unique in our Data Arena, no one else is doing that."

From CIO Australia
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