Professors Steve Bradley, of Visual Arts, and Nicole King, of American Studies, are now working intensly with the IRC on their vision, entitled Mapping Baybrook. Mapping Baybrook uses digital mapping and visualization technologies to convey the history and culture of the Baltimore community referred to as “Baybrook” (the adjacent neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Curtis Bay). The research aims are:
To document and preserve the history.
To express the history in dynamic and interactive online and mobile environments.
The issues of industrial urban neighborhoods such as Baybrook raise questions about both past and future development strategies in communities throughout the U.S. and around the globe. The history of Baybrook is largely a story of environmental injustice. The industry of a war economy and consumer culture have left pollution, sickness, poverty and crime in their wake. Such problems are too often concentrated in areas that are socio-economically depressed and geographically segregated. Yet, there are positive local stories as well. Telling both challenges the notion that “bad” neighborhoods should be abandoned or ignored and offers the opportunity to envision something better.
Visual, text and sound technologies will make the community’s history accessible online and with mobile devices. Incorporating location, orientation and object recognition technology, digitally augmented experiences will show the past and the present together—revealing the “lost neighborhoods” of Baybrook. The Mapping Baybrook prototype will take spatial, digital humanities programming into new territory, improving upon the best current models.
A conceptual design for the Mapping Baybrook project
In the previous post about the Symphony Interactive currently being developed by the IRC, Wallace mentioned many of the technologies being utilized to pull the prototype off. However, unless I’m mistaken, none of you know what the Symphony Interactive is! In a few words…
Traditional arts institutions such as symphony orchestras are at a crossroads. With attendance down, such organizations are developing new models of sustainable growth that will resonate with contemporary audiences, who increasingly expect multi-faceted, interactive, and user-defined experiences. This is reflected in the myriad of mobile “smart” devices, saturating everyday experience. Such devices provide an opportunity to enhance the experience of attending orchestra concerts by creating multiple streams of information and media through which a performance may be experienced and contextualized. By utilizing these technologies, such institutions can reengage the wider public through contemporary forms.
The Symphony Interactive project will develop software for mobile platforms that will allow users to view scrolling musical scores in real-time, synchronized with a live orchestra by a human time keeper sending pulses via wifi. Utilizing and iPad, users will be able to view portions of the score yet to be played or revisit prior moments of particular interest, as well as access detailed annotations with compositional, historical, and aesthetic information. The “Symphony Interactive” prototype will provide a unique permutation of the traditional concert experience, leveraging mobile technologies in a way that heightens engagement through active participation.
After a year of completing her last animation for NASA through the IRC, Ivy Flores, a recent IRC gal who has since left our research shindig to pursue her Masters in Experimental Animation at CalArts, is finally seeing something become of her hard work. This animation has not only been published, but it is now live and currently on the front page of the NASA Goddard homepage! Ivy did all the animation and compositing for the 3D interface part of this web tour. Click here to see the “Taking a Virtual Tour of NASA Goddard” animation!
It’s (All) About Time!
The IRC has spared no time putting me to work on some interesting and challenging projects! I’m currently working on several projects whose topics include multi-class data visualization, interactive tablet apps with sound file driven graphics, dynamic mesh reconstruction, real time pixel painting via the GPU, and synchronizing dynamic gameplay to realtime sound file playback.
Needless-to-say, my summer has been incredibly busy!
For one of these projects, entitled Symphony Interactive, I’m working to create a interactive application that allows an individual to lead an audience of people using tablets through a symphony’s musical notation in real time. Creating the program has involved researching the iOS framework, Apple iPad archetecture, parsing midi files, the accuracy of the midi format, iOS networking, iOS graphics using OpenGL Embeded Systems, iOS GPU programming, and designing appropriate human interfaces to lead large groups of individual users using a tablet. More to come soon!
Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) Satellite Visualization…what a mouthful!
I am excited to be developing multiple visualizations of the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) satellite that will detail its orbit, instrumentation, and solar array deployment. These animations will serve to exemplify the satellite’s location and function as it orbits Earth. Initiated in 1972, the Landsat Data Continuity Mission is a collaborative venture between NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey, and is the most extensive continuous record of changes on the Earth’s surface. The images generated from Landsat contribute to such NASA research as fluctuations in weather and climate, ecosystems, and the water and carbon cycles. Landsat also allows for study of local and regional land use, disaster response and evaluation, water use, human health and society, national and global economics, resource management, and carbon cycling and sequestration among other observations.
A 3D Render of the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) satellite orbiting Earth
LDCM is the eighth satellite to join the legacy of the Landsat Program, and carries two key instruments: the Operational Land Imager (OLI) and Thermal InfraRed Sensor (TIRS), both of which are featured on the model in detail. OLI is a push-broom sensor with a four-mirror telescope and 12-bit quantization that collects data for visible, near infrared, and short wave infrared spectral bands and a panchromatic band. TIRS is a thermal imaging sensor being built by NASA GSFC that provides support for emerging applications including evapotranspiration rate measurements for water management. OLI and TIRS each offer two new spectral bands of detection not previously available in former Landsat satellites. The current launch date is December 2012 from the Vandenburg Air Force Base.
Through generous support from CAHSS and the Office of the Vice President of Research, the IRC was able to award an $20,000 opportunity for CAHSS faculty to conduct aspects of their research in the IRC. This fellowship allows faculty members both the time and technical support to conduct research in the IRC that utilizes media technology, social media, and/or cross-disciplinary collaboration in the IRC. Expectations of the Fellowship are that it would lead to the faculty members seeking external funding for the research, substantially enhancing their research and research methods, or publishing or disseminating their research in venues currently unavailable to them.
This is hopefully the first of many yearly fellowships that can be awarded by the IRC to UMBC faculty. This year there was an excellent response with ten strong applications from six departments. Many of the proposals were collaborative. A review panel of four CAHSS faculty gave the award to Mapping Baybrook, a collaborative effort between Steve Bradley from Visual Arts and Nicole King of American Studies. A runner-up proposal, Symphony Interactive, by Linda Dusman and Michael Richards of Music, also received seed money to begin a pilot on their project.
Work on both projects has already begun. More on these coming soon…
From where the Panorama begins, from left to right we see: Tyler Chase (NASA/Goddard Visualization Animator), Rachel Kreutzinger (NASA/Goddard Visualization Animator), and Ryan Zuber (NASA/Goddard Visualization Animator). As you scroll more to the right there is: Kevin “KAL” Kallaugher (Artist in Residence), Abnet Shiferaw (Photographer), Lee Boot (Associate Director), Dan Bailey (Director). Phillip Thomas (Animator), Abbey Salvo (Online Information Designer/Media Specialist), Eric Smallwood (Technical Director), Mark Jarzynski (Programmer and Systems Administrator), Wallace Brown (Undergraduate Computer Programming Intern), and Marsha Velli (Accountant).
The IRC has teamed up with UMBC in an effort to make seeing our beautiful campus more accessible online. Under the guidance of IRC Director Dan Bailey, undergraduate photography interns Abnet Shiferaw, Daisha Jackson, Jeannine Kilgore, and graduate student Ali Seley have taken large-scale, immensely detailed panoramic images all over UMBC’s campus. These image segments were then painstakingly stitched together and touched up in a program called “Stitcher” by Autodesk. To date, they have completed 28 stunning panoramas, all hosted on the ‘world’s largest 360° panoramic photography community’ 360° Cities. Check out this example of all their hard work:
UMBC Physics Quad in USA
Can you spot those crazy IRC crew members? HINT: They have a great view of the campus!
Click here to go to UMBC’s channel on 360° Cities and view all of the UMBC campus panoramas.
ABC 7 News utilizes animation to illustrate the future of forecasting
A clip of the NPOESS Preparatory Project visualization, modeled and animated by our very own Ryan Zuber, was seen on TV last Tuesday. In discussing the economic ramifications of this elite NASA project, Channel 7 News in Denver used the animation to give their audience an understanding of what they were talking about. Click here to read the Denver News article and view their video report on the subject.
You can also read a brief background on the project, as well as view a short video of Ryan’s process in creating both the model and animation of the satellite on a previous post.
…our talented, hard-working, dysfunctional family
The IRC would like to welcome four new members to our team! Rachel Kreutzinger is our new NASA/Goddard gal. She is a recent UMBC graduate with a degree in computer animation and she is a proverbial ‘whiz’ at Maya. Mark Jarzynski, a recent UMBC Computer Science grad, has taken the very esteemed job of System Administrator. He has some big shoes to fill, but is very capable and we are lucky to have him! Finally, we have two new interns (Muahaha! Fresh meat!). Abnet Shiferaw is a very talented undergraduate photo student, and is currently working hard on panoramic photography with Dan Bailey. The very technically-able Wallace Brown is our new computer programmer on staff, and we look forward to working on some big projects with him!