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Thread: Anyone at SIGGRAPH this week?

  1. #1

    Default Anyone at SIGGRAPH this week?

    I should have thought about posting this before the Carto BOF. I finally get to go to SIGGRAPH, and I've been enjoying it greatly. I don't have a lot of time this morning, but if there are any other CG people there, send me an email: I'd love to meet you face-to-face!

    I'll be back probably Friday to give a report on the Carto meeting.
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist

  2. #2


    So let's see how much of this I can remember.

    The session opened with a discussion of color theory as applied to maps. Not really anything that we don't already have in our resources section. We had a report on Web3D standards, and how a set of geospatial specifications is being written to allow GIS systems to procedurally draw 3D graphics in a web browser. More on that in a bit.

    Then a researcher presented the results of an experiment to permit different sorts of map servers using significantly different presentation paradigms to communicate with one another. In essence, they developed a system where you can use data from, for instance, OpenStreetMap in Google Earth. I believe he was using four different server types and four different clients. They did not manage to make every connection, but I think I recall that they got Google Earth to read data from all four servers. That experiment was called 3DPIE.

    Another researcher presented a piece of software called bitmanagement, which sounded like it did something similar to RR's Viewingdale, except that the maps are presented in a web browser, and again they used a 3D rendering system, although it didn't sound like it was the W3D standard.

    I also attended a session about simulation with computer graphics, in which a scientist from ESRI demonstrated CityEngine and some of its planning tools, as well as giving a demo of its Level-of-Detail culling functions, allowing the user to wander a 10 mile x 10 mile 3D environment, rendered in real-time with Web3D. No client necessary, only an HTML 5-compliant browser.

    Incidentally, he mentioned that ESRI is hiring "content producers." He was a little vague about what that meant, but I imagine that any GIS-skilled cartographers among us who'd like to work in the field might want to give them a call. He was from their Zurich R&D office, but they have branch offices all over the world.
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist

  3. #3
    Administrator Redrobes's Avatar
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    Well obviously I'm interested in that news !!! I'll look into that. I think with webgl then VDale could be ported to a browser. But if were all using javascript to run the processing to get the images ready for webgl's presentation then its too slow. I was working on a port to linux in the hope of getting it running on a Raspberry PI tho. That little board seems perfect for the app. It has a net socket and the Broadcom GPU has 25GFlops which I think ought to have enough texture shader capacity to run it at a decent speed. Since the board is powered with just 2 watts then you could run it as a server all day and night and host your world on it over the web and connect up more R-Pis to it in the usual VTT kind of way. I want one for my car as much as anything. I want my own SatNav with OpenStreetMap images plus many custom photos, images and misc maps I can add to it.

    Looking at the video of bitmanagement then it looks more like a 3D environment viewer running in the browser so you can go into places and look at stuff. The reason my app was 2D was that I didn't think people like role players would be able to author their own material in 3D whereas lots of people create 2D maps and artwork and can scan, photograph it or make it digitally in 2D. I think its for this reason why ESRI need more people to make content for its applications.

    I saw this today which is unrelated to maps and art but is showcased at SIGGRAPH. I liked this video a lot !!!
    Hard to create 3D stuff with that of course but for 2D thats well cool and probably quite cheap to make.

  4. #4


    Cool. I didn't get to listen to any of the paper presentations, unfortunately. There were tons of 3D printers in the studio, though, and a fair number of scanners, which I recall you were interested in. I had my face scanned, and I should receive the data in a couple of days. It was a white light two-camera scanner that took about 20 seconds to get about 120 degrees of scan. The same company also makes software that permits you to use a Kinect for 3D scanning. Costs about $500.

    My head is stuffed full of all kinds of really cool stuff. I just hope I get a chance to use some of it before it all trickles away!
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist

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