Visualizing Biological Data – reviews

A Supplement issue to Nature Methods March 2010 Volume 7, No 3s, includes a  series of five commissioned Reviews that discuss the challenges of visualizing biological data and the visualization tools available to biologists working with genomes, alignments and phylogenies, macromolecular structures, images and systems biology data.

These reviews are freely available to download (http://www.nature.com/nmeth/journal/v7/n3s/index.html).

Call for papers – Special Issue “Internet and Landscapes”

This is to announce a call for peer reviewed papers for the open access journal Future Internet. The special issue will focus on the theme of “Internet and Landscapes“.  Papers will be received up until the 28th August 2010.

Particular area of interest to be considered for this publication include:

  • Recent advances in online geographical / landscape visualization
  • Novel landscape information repositories, websites, and portals
  • Collaborative web 2.0 approaches for communicating landscapes
  • Research, development and applications of virtual globe technologies
  • Development s in 3D spatial data infrastructure and object libraries
  • Innovative applications in immersive and semi-immersive virtual reality
  • Evaluating the usefulness and usability of online geographical visualization tools
  • The geographies of virtual worlds and online communities
  • Advances of mobile computing devices in understanding landscapes
  • Online spatial decision support systems for landscape planning

For more details regarding this special issue and publication guidelines visit Internet and Landscapes (http://www.mdpi.com/journal/futureinternet/special_issues/landscapes/)

A new participatory approach for landscape planning using touch table technology – part II

Here Subhash demonstrates the versatility of the Biozone Constructor tool in supporting whole farm planning. The tool can be used to place windbreaks and design forestry plantations. We believe there is much potential in such a participatory approach to whole farm planning. Our research over the next few months will focus on extending existing functionality and improving the underlying geodatabase platform.

A new participatory approach for landscape planning using touch table technology

The Biozone Constructor ArcGIS tool is a novel integrated technology solution comprising a Geographic Information System, 3D computer gaming engine and a touch table interface. This prototype technology application supports the planning of biolink habitat corridors in an interactive collaborative planning environment. The tool is a result of collaborative research and development between the Future Farming Systems Research Division within the Department of Primary Industries and the Department of Geomatics University of Melbourne. The tool has been funded through the CRC-Spatial Information, Department of Primary Industries and Department of Sustainability Victoria. Subhash Sharma, member of our working group introduces this exciting new tool demonstrating an application in South West Victoria.

Sixthsense – Removing the Digital Divide.

The SixthSense prototype is a wearable gestural interface that augments the physical world and objects with digital data and information. Such technologies hold many exciting opportunities in being able to visualise, communicate across the digital Divide. Thanks to Falak Sheth member of our ISPRS working group for making us aware of this emerging technology which has many potential applications to the fields of geographical visualisation and virtual reality.

Recent updates in Google Earth 3D cities


Recent Google Earth city addition: Melbourne

Google Earth has recently been expending the number of cities for which it provides 3D building representations (this example illustrate the recent addition of Melbourne). It seems Google Earth has upgraded it’s capacity to display 3D objects within the viewer. A couple month ago only a few objects could be dsiplayed at a time and Google Earth made use of very large amount of RAM memory. The latest release of Google Earth (5.0) can display tousands of buildings and remain stable and it’s usage of RAM does not sky rocket as it used to. This may open the path towards the use of large number of objects and potentially the creation of more rural landscape where trees and equivalent size structures could be displayed.

However, I am not sure whether Google Earth remains stable when displaying locally hosted objects (from a local machine) or a non-Google server. Did anyone had a try a integrating a large number of ojects in Google Earth recently?

Under water visualisation

This is an example of an underwater visualisation of a marine habitat on the SW coast of Victoria (produced by the Victorian Department of Primary Industries). It displays school of “old-wife” fishes moving in a shallow sea grass habitat.

This visualisation excercise was developped in 3D studio Max and illustrates the strength of this software to create realistic lighting and shadows. We are currently investigating the use of this software to create 3D realistic representations of terrestrial and underwater landscapes and ecosystems. However the lack of spatial references in 3dStudio Max remains a serious limitation to it’s broad application and automation across landscapes.

Virtual London 2010

This is an excellent example of an urban visualization posted by our friends at Digital Urban produced by Infoterra. The interface from private sector to university is an important relationship in making strategic and applied research a reality. It is nice to read about the link between Infoterra and CASA in creating early versions of the Virtual London project.

Virtual London – Available via Skape World January 2010.