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Technical Brief

Developing Large High-Resolution Display Visualizations of High-Fidelity Terrain Data

[+] Author and Article Information
Haeyong Chung

e-mail: chungh@vt.edu

Chris North

e-mail: north@cs.vt.edu
Department of Computer Science,
Virginia Tech,
Blacksburg, VA 24060

John Ferris

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Virginia Tech,
Blacksburg, VA 24060
e-mail: jbferris@vt.edu

Contributed by the Computers and Information Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Computing and Information Science in Engineering. Manuscript received June 30, 2011; final manuscript received March 26, 2013; published online July 22, 2013. Editor: Bahram Ravani.

J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng 13(3), 034502 (Jul 22, 2013) (7 pages) Paper No: JCISE-11-1371; doi: 10.1115/1.4024656 History: Received June 30, 2011; Revised March 26, 2013

The vehicle terrain measurement system (VTMS) allows highly detailed terrain modeling and vehicle simulations. Visualization of large-scale terrain datasets taken from VTMS provides better insights into the characteristics of the pavement or road surface. However, the resolution of these terrain datasets greatly exceeds the capability of traditional graphics displays and computer systems. Large high-resolution displays (LHRDs) enable visualization of large-scale VTMS datasets with high resolution, large physical size, scalable rendering performance, advanced interaction methods, and collaboration. This paper investigates beneficial factors, implementation issues, and case study applications of LHRDs for visualizing large, high-fidelity, terrain datasets from VTMS. Two prototype visualizations are designed and evaluated with automotive and pavement engineers to demonstrate effectiveness of LHRDs for multiscale tasks that involve understanding pavement surface details within the overall context of the terrain.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Large, high-resolution display, arranged in a 5 × 10 matrix of 20.1 in. flat panel LCD monitors powered by 25 PC nodes (5 × 10 × 1600 × 1200 = 96,000,000 pixels in total)

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Fig. 3

Actual terrain and 3D terrain visualization. The left image is a photo of the actual terrain and the right image is a 3D rendering that was produced from the corresponding dataset measured with the VTMS.

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Fig. 5

Two different data distribution architectures for terrain data on LHRDs. (a) Master-slave data distribution architecture. The master redistributes application state information collected from the slaves, such as user input, timer, random number generation, system calls, etc. in order to synchronize application states. (b) Client-server data distribution architecture. The terrain data and input devices are accessed by only the client node.

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Fig. 6

Left: Sort-first rendering of VTMS data. Black lines represent display tile borders. The entire terrain model is divided by display tiles, and then display nodes (represented by different colors) render the corresponding parts of the terrain model in parallel. Right: Sort-last rendering. The terrain model is more evenly divided.

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Fig. 7

Multiscale terrain visualization prototypes. Color ramp represents elevation of terrain. For example, red is the highest point and blue is the lowest.

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Fig. 8

Multiview visualization prototype for comparing performance of different terrain uniform grid spacing methods for VTMS data. Each model can be navigated independently or in coordination

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Fig. 9

Multiview visualization of very long pavement models. Each row displays a portion of the road length, and every row is connected to recreate the entire road section.

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