1. Introduction

This documentation details the procedure one has to adopt for putting together a Geowall.

1.1 What is a Geowall?

In plain terms, a Geowall is a low cost visualization system. It is a desktop PC running either Windows, Linux or Mac OS X, with a fast graphics card, two projectors and a screen. Each of the projectors display a computer generated image for each eye. Filters placed before the bulb of each projector polarize the image. When a viewer puts on polarized glasses, he can see a true 3D image. This is called 'passive stereo'. A significant advantage of passive stereo is that the images can be viewed using cheap 3D glasses and avoids the costly shutter glasses which active stereo requires.

1.2 What is it used for?

The Geowall, being a low cost system became instantly popular among the research circles. It found usage in data visualization and also in teaching science to college and graduate level students. EVL set up the first Geowall at Chicago; since then at least 80 Geowalls have been set up at universities, research laboratories and museums throughout the United States. A good Geowall system can now be set up for as low as 8500 USD.

1.3 Geowall and the Access Grid

The first prototype of the Geowall was christened 'AGAVE' Access Grid Augmented Virtual Environment. The idea was to support interactive observation and sharing of 3D data sets between sites that already have Access Grid nodes established. The Access Grid provided the video and audio channels required for collaborative work; the AGAVE was a new visualization system to assist data analysis by scientists. The AGAVE was renamed the 'Geowall' when geoscientists understood the benefits of using a stereoscopic system in studying the Earth's interior and natural phenomena.

The Geowall was incorporated into EVL's vision of Scientific Workspaces of the Future called 'Continuum' spaces and funding was received through the SWOF Alliance expedition. Software like 'Immersaview' was developed to support collaboration.

Besides this document you can also refer to the following :
1. The Geowall Consortium.
2. The AGAVE site at the Electronic Visualization Laboratory.

If you have any questions please email the CAVERN group at cavern@evl.uic.edu




Fig 1: This is a typical Geowall set up. Roll the mouse over the individual circled components to see an enlarged view.