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GlyphSea : An Application to Visualize Vector Data

How does one display vector field? How would one visualize a time evolution of ground motion for an earthquake? Vector visualization is an important area to investigate scientific data in many domains. Prior visualization strategies have primarily focused on low resolution and discrete glyph plots or volumetric rendering of scalar fields, which do not permit a full characterization of underlying phenomena. We have developed an interactive glyph visualization application that allows scientists to explore vector fields. We implement a novel technique of procedural dipole texturing to encode and display vector data which shows magnitude and direction. We employ a novel lattice method to show neighborhood, which also enables to distinguish glyphs. We further enhance visualization by using screen space ambient occlusion, jitter, outline halos and displacement. By combining contextual information with glyphs, such as geographic maps and representations of crustal structure with three-dimensional isosurfaces, scientists are able examine vector fields in a rich and interactive multivariate environment. We demonstrate the results for time-dependent vector data from a three different simulations including the "Big One" earthquake simulation affecting the Los Angeles region. These new visualizations clearly depict the obvious features as well those missed in previous investigation.

People: Producer/Director/Visualization: Amit Chourasia, SDSC/UCSD
Programming: Emmett Mcquinn, UCSD/SDSC
Seismology Advisor: Bernard Minster, SIO/UCSD
Technical Advisor: Jurgen Schulze, CalIT2/UCSD
Acknowlegements: Geoffrey Ely, Steve Day, Kim Olsen, Thomas Jordan Southern California Earthquake Center
Data Credits: Point Source Simulation by Geoffrey Ely and Emmett Mcquinn TeraShake Simulation by Kim Olsen and Yifeng Cui et al., SCEC MHD Simulation by Alexei Kritsuk, Sergey Ustyugov and Mike Norman
Funding: National Science Foundation: OCI-0636438, EAR-0744493, SCI-0503697, OCI-0503944, OCI-0932251

GlyphSea Results

Point Source Earthquake


TeraShake Earthquake Simulation

Movies: movie

  • Same as above
Magnetic Field

Movies: movie

  • Same as above