Media Technology MSc

MSc Thesis


Globe4D as Tool for Scientific Data Visualization and Exploration


Rick Companje




Scientific data visualization gives scientists more insight in large complex datasets. It can lead to the discovery of new patterns in data, new questions can arise, conclusions can be drawn and new hypotheses can be generated. Interaction within data visualization is important to be able to constantly look at the data from different perspectives. We investigated to what extend Globe4D an interactive physical globe resulting fromearlier research and formerly only used for educational purposes can beused as a tool for scientists for visualizing and exploring datasets duringthe process of data analysis. Globe4D has because of its shape and interaction model certain interface characteristics different than the scientific tools used on a computer. We investigated the views of scientists from different fields on data visualization, the scientific tools they use and in particular their views and ideas about using Globe4D in their research. Based on their suggestions we implemented certain improvements in Globe4D's hardware and software where after a case study was done on one particular research project focusing on visually representing ontologies using different geometrical representations. During our case study the development of a toolkit has been started for scientists to be able to use Globe4D as input- and output device in their own scientific software tools.

Full Reference

Rick Companje, "Globe4D as Tool for Scientific Data Visualization and Exploration", Master's Thesis for the Media Technology programme, Leiden University (The Netherlands), 2009