Data Visualisation Space - Davis
The Data Visualisation Space, Davis for short, was established on the ground floor of TU Wien Bibliothek in March 2023. As a scientific library and a part of urban infrastructure, we promote the transfer of knowledge to society and the co-creation of knowledge with citizens. Innovative and diverse learning spaces are an important aspect of this. Davis is an infrastructure for experimenting with and teaching topics in the field of data visualisation. The space consists of two video walls based on different concepts and technologies and intended for complementary uses.
The 4.8m wide and 2.7m high 4K LED wall enables interactive VR presentations in active 3D stereo. The installed optical tracking system enables head and hand tracking of a person (via shutter glasses and controller) and thus offers them the possibility of immersive interaction with the scenery shown. Up to 15 other visitors can accompany this person or take the leading role in turn. The active 3D glasses used allow for easy communication between the visitors while they are viewing the content together. This makes the 3D Wall very suitable for teaching, which is also its most important purpose.
In the future, it will be possible for teachers and students to book the 3D Wall by the hour in order to visualise, experiment with and discuss 3D data together as part of courses, or alone in individual projects such as master's theses.
Selected software products with corresponding project templates are provided on the associated workstation, in which the support of the hardware features of the 3D Wall (3D stereo rendering, head and hand tracking) is largely preconfigured, so that potential users have the lowest possible threshold to displaying their own content.
The offer is accompanied by the library's own workshops and courses that teach the basics, e. g. for the necessary transformation between 3D data formats and the expansion with interaction elements. Persons doing individual work with the 3D Wall or teachers planning to use the wall must complete an introductory workshop, in which the functionality and use of the equipment provided are explained.
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Opposite the 3D Wall is a second video wall, 4.1m wide and 1.2m high, consisting of six upright LCDs. An IR frame around this arrangement turns it into a touchwall; up to 30 simultaneously recognisable touch events enable up to five parallel users. In contrast to the 3D wall, the touchwall serves as the library's exhibition space, which is freely accessible during opening hours and offers insight into the diverse processes and activities of the building and TU Wien in general. In addition to image galleries and interactive presentations, interactive dashboards with meaningful data visualisations are also planned here.
In addition to its role as a kind of shop window, the touchwall also serves as a common work surface for collaborative activities within the framework of the library's Citizen Science projects. In addition, it can be used in the context of TU Wien internal events such as the presentation of final theses.
Since its completion in March 2023, the system has been in trial operation.
In cooperation with selected pilot courses, usage scenarios are being specified and internal workflows for booking, identification and equipment issue are being prepared, as well as the necessary connections to TU Wien-wide systems. The system will go into full operation in the course of 2024.