UMBC Campus Interactive Visualization

UMBC Campus 3D Immersive Tour

In conjunction with its move to new facilities, the IRC has expanded its research efforts in real-time immersive environments and their use by artists and media designers. As one of two pilot projects for a low-cost flexible CAVE system that can utilize 1-3 stereoscopic screens in a variety of configurations, the IRC developed a virtual model of the UMBC campus for use as a tool in campus planning, way-finding, and virtual tours. The finished model and immersive showcase has been used extensively by UMBC to present its Master Plan to various planners, developers, and state government groups.

Visualization and Presentation

The topography of the campus was constructed from a LIDAR data scan of the area, and the buildings were modeled and textured from photographs, blueprints, and aerial photographs. Much attention was given to the craftsmanship of the modeling and texturing of the campus to keep the file size and data rates small enough for real-time playback of the scene. The immersive environment for this project was configured as a two screen stereoscopic“powerwall” that uses 4-networked PC computers, 4 data projectors and 2 8x10 foot rear projection screens.

Portable Interactive Map Version

The campus model has subsequently been optimized for use on any contemporary laptop and for web delivery. A user-interface for navigating campus via the keyboard and/or mouse was developed, along with the ability to select buildings to interact with the UMBC Campus in a variety of methods depending on their needs:

  • Interactive Map with accessible information about buildings
  • Walking Tour
  • Interactive Fly Through
  • Pre-recorded Flight Paths

Locale sound effects as well as simulated traffic and animated effects have been added to enhance the viewer experience.

Production Notes

Project Directors: Professors Dan Bailey, Alan Price
Technical Directors: Brinton Jaecks, Eric Smallwood
Programming Assistance: Chun-Shan Lin, Ryan Zuber, Shane Lynch
IRC Graduate Research Assistants: Chad Eby, Nicole Shiflet
UMBC Interns: Adnaan Ahmed, Fred Allen, Ethan Berner, Jonathan Braucher, Tim Carl, Andrew Dickman, Tim Farrell, Louis Ganga, Lisa Harrison, Marianne Hayden, Jasmine Jorgenson, Darren Herscher, Chrissy Kellog, Dan Marsh, Sean Miller, Chris Mortenson, Michael Robinson, Leigh Ann Rose, Mark Toepfer, Peter Yim, Marques Young