Environmental Modeling and Visualization Lab - Services
Scientific visualization is an important tool for environmental research: by representing numerical data in a visual format, scientific visualization allows environmental scientists and analysts to better understand the results of their research and to effectively convey those results to others.
An experienced and well-equipped Environmental Modeling and Visualization Lab (EMVL) staff offers a wide variety of services to EPA scientists, managers, and qualified EPA customers.
EMVL services for the EPA research community include
- Hands-On Demos of Visualization Tools
- Visualization Development
- Custom Module Development
- On-site Visits to Remote Labs
- Digital Multimedia Design
EMVL staff frequently provide hands-on demonstrations to EPA scientists, managers, and guests of the EPA. The purpose of these demonstrations varies, from highly technical analyses of modeling results to high-level presentations of decision-making tools.
EMVL staff are experienced in the use of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) visualization tools, such as Data Explorer (DX) and AVS. EMVL staff are also experienced in using using programming languages, such as C, C++, Java, FORTRAN, in the development of custom visualization applications.
EMVL staff are ready to learn and apply the most appropriate software tools for customer projects. As of FY2005, EMVL staff were primarily using DX, Interactive Data Language (IDL), Fluent/Gambit, Multigen Paradigm and Vega, and Alias|Wavefront Maya for visualization development.
The EMVL staff provides consulting services, including troubleshooting, advice on hardware and software selection, problem diagnosis and resolution, and technical guidance.
Off-site technical consulting occurs over the phone, via e-mail, using the World Wide Web, at the EMVL, or at the client's location.
Custom Module Development
Whenever necessary, members of the staff develop custom modules, drivers, data translators/filters, and other software tools. This is done only if such capabilities do not currently exist in the EMVL inventory of visualization toolkits and cannot be acquired from other resources (such as public domain libraries).
Custom System Development also includes the rehosting of software to new platforms (from a vector to a massively parallel environment, for example). When required, EMVL staff advise EPA clients in the application of custom modules, routines, networks, and programs.
The EMVL provides EPA with a state-of-the-art visualization and animation production facility capable of creating broadcast quality source tapes, MPEG movies, Quicktime movies, and other digital imaging formats. EMVL staff creates digital animations, data flybys, and 3-D environmental visualization sequences in support of EPA researchers and scientists.
EMVL staff regularly produce visualization output in the context of broader presentations output in a variety of formats, such as QuickTime and MPEG animations for Web publication or use in laptop-based presentations. Using a digital editing system with a variety of media-output options, such as videotape, CD-ROM, and digital video disk (DVD), EMVL staff provide their customers with visualizations they can readily demonstrate to others.
Where appropriate, EMVL staff develop a storyboard, construct a visualization
for each scene, compose a script, and create appropriate annotations.