LAVA: Laboratory for Advanced Visualization Applications

IMG_6290Take your shoes off before entering the Laboratory for Advanced Visualization Applications (LAVA). Jason Leigh's environment for visualizing big data is like going into his home, or more accurately his CyberCANOE. You wouldn't wear shoes in there either. Coincidentally, CANOE is a back-ronym for Collaboration Analysis Navigation & Observation Environment. The first thing you will notice as you enter LAVA is the 18-panel flat screen monitors which make up the CyberCANOE. You can think of this as your huge computer monitor. Imagine collaborating on your Mac or PC and you and your team being able to drag and drop windows from your desktop to the CyberCANOE. The software that enables this is called SAGE2 (Scalable Amplified Group Environment). SAGE2 is an open-source middleware that provides multiple users with a common operating environment to access, display, and share an assortment of data intensive information. IMG_6281The intent is to enable teams to collaborate together or remotely by sharing large volumes of information on high resolution screens. The world of big data is greatly enhanced by the ability to visualize unique qualities of that data. For example if you could take the Twitter firehose, perform a word analysis by geolocation, you could then visualize the sentiment of a political debate across the country. That is just one example, there are applications in fluid dynamics, climate interactions, space debris mapping, etc. not to mention virtual reality environments. LAVA is open for both the academic and business community to use. Their open house was on Friday October 30, 2015 and work is underway to establish CyberCANOEs in other locations like the University of Hawaii - West Oahu. Also work is being done to bring the next generation CAVE-2 to Hawaii. Check out more photos on Flickr.