Sunday, March 23rd, 2014 at 7:44 am by — Category: Demo

At BA3, we are currently experimenting with the display of  extremely large 4D weather data sets in the BA3 Altus Mapping Engine. These data sets are called 4D because they consist of 3D volumetric data over time. This video represents preliminary work showing one way of viewing one part of these data sets:

The data set consists of data points (2 bytes each) at 1,250 x 730 evenly spaced lat/lons, 50 different altitude levels, across a 72-hour time frame at hourly intervals (approximately 6 gigabytes of data then packaged in GRIB2 format).

In the video we are ignoring the time dimension for the moment and focusing on a single 3D volume. The slider on the right manipulates the alpha channel (transparency). The slider on the left manipulates altitude. So as you watch the video and the left slider moves, you are seeing 2D slices through the 3D volume of data. Note that panning and zooming remain fluid even with such a large data set on screen. Our next experiments will look at animating the data through the time dimension.

It would be just as easy to do this same kind of display with marine data at different depths in the ocean or with seismic data mapping underground formations.