Planetary-scale Data Rendering in Autostereoscopic Virtual Reality
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This photograph combines two of my areas of research. First, the application is my planetary-scale data visualization tool displaying NASA Shuttle Radar Topography Mission elevation data with the Blue Marble Next Generation color map, both at a resolution of 86400x43200 pixels, a total of 31GB of data. This parallel renderer dynamically pages data from disk to video RAM, adaptively achieving optimal resolution at interactive frame rates. This research is being done in cooperation with astronomers at the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum, and is currently on display in Adler’s Space Visualization Laboratory. Beginning in 2009, this tool will be used to bring sub-meter-resolution imagery from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera to the public via Adler’s Moon Wall exhibit and StarRider digital dome theater. Second, the display in the image is the Electronic Visualization Laboratory’s Varrier autostereoscopic virtual reality environment. This cluster-driven tiled display provides real-time stereo imagery without the need for stereo glasses. Total resolution is 50 million pixels per eye. My research in GPU-based techniques for parallax-barrier autostereo rendering enabled high-performance sub-pixel image interleaving, doubling the effective resolution of the display and allowing 20/30 visual acuity.