CAVE6D- a Tool for Tele-Immersive Visualization of Environmental Data

Glen H. Wheless, Cathy Lascara-
Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography, Old Dominion University;
Abhinav Kapoor, Jason Leigh-
NCSA/EVL

CAVE5D, co-developed by Wheless and Lascara from ODU and Dr. Bill Hibbard from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is a configurable virtual reality (VR) application framework. CAVE5D is supported by Vis5D, a very powerful graphics library that provides visualization techniques to display multi-dimensional numerical data from atmospheric, oceanographic, and other similar models, including isosurfaces, contour slices, volume visualization, wind/trajectory vectors, and various image projection formats.


CAVE6D, emerges as an integration of CAVE5D with CAVERNsoft to produce a TI environment that allows multiple users of CAVE5D to jointly visualize, discuss and interact with data-sets in the environment. Avatars possess long pointing-rays that can be used to point at features of interest in the data-set while they
converse over a telephonic conference call. Visualization parameters such as, Salinity, Circulation Vectors, Temperature and Wind Velocity Slices, larval fish distributions etc. that can be visualized by CAVE5D, have been extended in CAVE6D to
allow participants to collectively operate them.


Participants may turn any of these parameters on or off, globally (affecting everyone's view) or locally (affecting only one's own view.) This affords each participant the ability to individually customize and/or reduce the ``cluttered-ness'' of the visualization; one participant may be viewing the relationship between one subset of the total dimensions of the data while another participant may be
simultaneously correlating a different subset. Time on the other-hand is globally shared and hence participants view all time-varying data synchronously. Participants may travel forward and backward in time as well as stop time in order to discuss what they see with their collaborators.