Over the last decades, Louisiana has lost a substantial part of its coastal region to the Gulf of Mexico. The goal of the
project depicted in this paper is to investigate the complex ecological and geophysical system not only to find solutions
to reverse this development but also to protect the southern landscape of Louisiana for disastrous impacts of natural
hazards like hurricanes. This paper sets a focus on the interactive data handling of the Chenier Plain which is only one
scenario of the overall project. The challenge addressed is the interactive exploration of large-scale time-depending 2D
simulation results and of terrain data with a high resolution that is available for this region.
Besides data preparation, efficient visualization approaches optimized for the usage in virtual environments are
presented. These are embedded in a complex framework for scientific visualization of time-dependent large-scale
datasets. To provide a straightforward interface for rapid application development, a software layer called VRFlowVis
has been developed. Several architectural aspects to encapsulate complex virtual reality aspects like multi-pipe vs.
cluster-based rendering are discussed. Moreover, the distributed post-processing architecture is investigated to prove its
efficiency for the geophysical domain. Runtime measurements conclude this paper.
The Virtual Hydrology Observatory will provide students with the ability to observe the integrated hydrology simulation
with an instructional interface by using a desktop based or immersive virtual reality setup. It is the goal of the virtual
hydrology observatory application to facilitate the introduction of field experience and observational skills into
hydrology courses through innovative virtual techniques that mimic activities during actual field visits. The simulation
part of the application is developed from the integrated atmospheric forecast model: Weather Research and Forecasting
(WRF), and the hydrology model: Gridded Surface/Subsurface Hydrologic Analysis (GSSHA). Both the output from
WRF and GSSHA models are then used to generate the final visualization components of the Virtual Hydrology
Observatory. The various visualization data processing techniques provided by VTK are 2D Delaunay triangulation and
data optimization. Once all the visualization components are generated, they are integrated into the simulation data
using VRFlowVis and VR Juggler software toolkit. VR Juggler is used primarily to provide the Virtual Hydrology
Observatory application with fully immersive and real time 3D interaction experience; while VRFlowVis provides the
integration framework for the hydrologic simulation data, graphical objects and user interaction. A six-sided CAVETM like
system is used to run the Virtual Hydrology Observatory to provide the students with a fully immersive experience.
The Virtual Reality Center Aachen is developing a Virtual Reality based operation planning system in cooperation with
aerodynamics scientists and physicians of several clinical centers. This system is meant to help the preparation of nose
surgeries aimed at the elimination of respiratory diseases. A core part is the interactive comparison of experimental data
and simulation data in the area of fluid dynamics. In a first step, data comparison is to depict the differences between
healthy noses and diseased noses. Later on, data comparison should supply evidence for successful virtual surgeries,
which finally results in guidance on the real operation.
During virtual surgery sessions, scientists can interactively explore, analyze, annotate, and compare various medical and
aerodynamics data sets. Image-based methods are used to extract several features in one image and between compared
data sets. The determination of linked features between different data sets is a particular challenge because of their
different time frames, scales, and distortions. An optimized human computer interface enables the user to interact
intuitively within a virtual environment in order to select and deal with these data sets. Additionally to this interactive
exploration, the system also allows automatic searches for cut plane and key frame candidates corresponding to given
The comparison system makes use of an already implemented parallelized Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) postprocessing,
which also extracts enhanced flow features that allow automatic detection of relevant flow regions. Beside
vortex detection, the computation of critical points including flow field segmentation is a current research activity.
These flow features are favored characteristics for the comparison and help considerably to classify different nose
geometries and operation recommendations.