National Computational Infrastructure

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NCI Viz Lab History

The NCI VizLab (formerly ANUSF VizLab) has been operating since 1990 and was the first facility of its kind in Australia.

Scientific visualisation was one of the original users of “big data” technology, long before its current industry popularity. Visualisations of multi-terabyte data sets are now a common occurrence, with much larger petascale problems looming on the horizon. For this reason visualisation facilities are traditionally embedded in high performance computer facilities where such data sets are generated and collected, and where the necessary computational and storage requirements for the visualisation task are available.

VizLab is staffed by visualisation programmers with backgrounds in computer graphics and the sciences, all capable of developing low level software for implementing novel visualisation strategies. The lab currently produces software found in use at a large variety of Australian and International research organisations, as well as industrial and entertainment companies (most recently for the Australian movie “Happy Feet 2″).

Previously, VizLab has produced virtual reality exhibitions deployed on a variety of stereo display devices, from single touch-screen workstations to multi-walled immersive environments. These have been on public display at several prominent Australian museums.

kSpace @ National Museum of Australia
Created for the newly-opened National Museum of Australia, kSpace (short for “Kid’s Space”) was a VE experience that asked children to “imagine what life will be like for future generations”.

CSIRO Discovery Centre
The Discovery Centre showcases the best of Australian technology and innovation created by CSIRO, the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organization. A keystone exhibit was the Nortel Networks Virtual Reality Theatre, a two-screen system for which VIZLAB created a 7-minute VR tour of CSIRO plant science, mining and radioastronomy.

Powerhouse Wedge
The Powerhouse Museum, located in Darling Harbour, Sydney, hosts unique and diverse exhibits spanning science, technology and social history. The award-winning Universal Machine exhibit contained VIZLAB’s first public VE system powered by our custom pSpace scripting software.

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