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ABSTRACT: Multi-Model Data Investigation--Adding Touch and Sound to Geoscientific Visualization

HARDING, CHRIS; BOWEN LOFTIN, Virtual Environments Research Institute (VERI), University of Houston, Houston, Texas and F. CASEY, Geoscience Department, University of Houston, Houston, Texas

The paper deals with the investigation of geoscientific data not only with three-dimensional graphics but also with touch and sound.

In the last few years the Virtual Environments Research Institute (VERI) at the University of Houston has done research on new technologies to aid in the investigation of geoscientific data such as hydrocarbon exploration and production. Our proof of concept prototype of the Interactive Workbench and numerous other applications such as CAVETM or the VisionariumTM clearly showing the potential for immersive technologies.

Haptic force feedback and real-time sound synthesis are two other emerging fields that can be of use in the investigation of geoscientific data. Haptic force feedback devices (Such as the PANToMTM) allow the user to feel geological surfaces. Sound allows the user to investigate data with need to use the visual system thus effectively adding one more input channel. Both technologies have been used in a geoscientific context; however to our knowledge, no research has been done on the integration of visual, haptic and audio presentations into a multi-model, immersive system.

The paper outlines general aspects of immersive (3D stereo) visual technology, haptic force feedback technology and real-time sound synthesis as well as the role of each of these three senses in the presentation and interaction with data. The pros and cons of each technique with regard to the investigation of oil and gas related data are discussed. It presents several examples of multi-model investigations of geoscientific data with are currently worked on at VERI. The examples include the investigation of seismic data (amplitude and semblance), a 2D flow field and terrain morphology of a seafloor.

Preliminary results suggest that the new field of multi-model data investigation promises to open up new opportunities for the presentation and modeling of geoscientific data by utilizing previously largely ignored channels for human-computer interaction.



AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90908©2000 GCAGS, Houston, Texas