GlyphSea: An application to visualize vector fields

GlyphSea: An application to visualize vector fields
Director/Visualization: Amit Chourasia, SDSC/UCSD

Programming: Emmett Mcquinn, UCSD/SDSC

Seismology Advisor: Bernard Minster, SIO/UCSD

Technical Advisor: Jurgen Schulze, CalIT2/UCSD

Tools: C++, OpenScenceGraph, CG and GLSL Shaders, QT

How does one display vector field? How would one visualize a time evolution of ground motion for an earthquake? Vector visualization is an important area to investigate scientific data in many domains. Prior visualization strategies have primarily focused on low resolution and discrete glyph plots or volumetric rendering of scalar fields, which do not permit a full characterization of underlying phenomena. We have developed an interactive glyph visualization application that allows scientists to explore vector fields. We implement a novel technique of procedural dipole texturing to encode and display vector data which shows magnitude and direction. We employ a novel lattice method to show neighborhood, which also enables to distinguish glyphs. We further enhance visualization by using screen space ambient occlusion, jitter, outline halos and displacement. By combining contextual information with glyphs, such as geographic maps and representations of crustal structure with three-dimensional isosurfaces, scientists are able examine vector fields in a rich and interactive multivariate environment. We demonstrate the results for time-dependent vector data from a three different simulations including the "Big One" earthquake simulation affecting the Los Angeles region. These new visualizations clearly depict the obvious features as well those missed in previous investigation.

GlyphSea was featured at SIGGRAPH 2010: Live Real Time Demos,

SciDAC 2010 and TeraGrid 2010 (Best Visualization Nominee).

GlyphSea won Honorable Mention at International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge 2010 in non-interactive category.

2008 - 2011
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