Carnegie Mellon researchers build time machine to visually explore space and timeApril 21, 2011
PITTSBURGH--Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute have leveraged the latest browser technology to create GigaPan Time Machine, a system that enables viewers to explore gigapixel-scale, high-resolution videos and image sequences by panning or zooming in and out of the images while simultaneously moving back and forth through time.
Viewers, for instance, can use the system to focus in on the details of a booth within a panorama of a carnival midway, but also reverse time to see how the booth was constructed. Or they can watch a group of plants sprout, grow and flower, shifting perspective to watch some plants move wildly as they grow while others get eaten by caterpillars. Or, they can view a computer simulation of the early universe, watching as gravity works across 600 million light-years to condense matter into filaments and finally into stars that can be seen by zooming in for a close up.
"With GigaPan Time Machine, you can simultaneously explore space and time at extremely high resolutions," said Illah Nourbakhsh, associate professor of robotics and head of the CREATE Lab. "Science has always been about narrowing your point of view -- selecting a particular experiment or observation that you think might provide insight. But this system enables what we call exhaustive science, capturing huge amounts of data that can then be explored in amazing ways."
The system is an extension of the GigaPan technology developed by the CREATE Lab and NASA, which can capture a mosaic of hundreds or thousands of digital pictures and stitch those frames into a panorama that be interactively explored via computer. To extend GigaPan into the time dimension, image mosaics are repeatedly captured at set intervals, and then stitched across both space and time to create a video in which each frame can be hundreds of millions, or even billions of pixels.
An enabling technology for time-lapse GigaPans is a feature of the HTML5 language that has been incorporated into such browsers as Google's Chrome and Apple's Safari. HTML5, the latest revision of the HyperText Markup Language (HTML) standard that is at the core of the Internet, makes browsers capable of presenting video content without use of plug-ins such as Adobe Flash or Quicktime.
Using HTML5, CREATE Lab computer scientists Randy Sargent, Chris Bartley and Paul Dille developed algorithms and software architecture that make it possible to shift seamlessly from one video portion to another as viewers zoom in and out of Time Machine imagery. To keep bandwidth manageable, the GigaPan site streams only those video fragments that pertain to the segment and/or time frame being viewed.
"We were crashing the browsers early on," Sargent recalled. "We're really pushing the browser technology to the limits."
Guidelines on how individuals can capture time-lapse images using GigaPan cameras are included on the site created for hosting the new imagery's large data files, http://timemachine.gigapan.org. Sargent explained the CREATE Lab is eager to work with people who want to capture Time Machine imagery with GigaPan, or use the visualization technology for other applications.
Once a Time Machine GigaPan has been created, viewers can annotate and save their explorations of it in the form of video "Time Warps."
Though the time-lapse mode is an extension of the original GigaPan concept, scientists already are applying the visualization techniques to other types of Big Data. Carnegie Mellon's Bruce and Astrid McWilliams Center for Cosmology, for instance, has used it to visualize a simulation of the early universe performed at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center by Tiziana Di Matteo, associate professor of physics.
"Simulations are a huge bunch of numbers, ugly numbers," Di Matteo said. "Visualizing even a portion of a simulation requires a huge amount of computing itself." Visualization of these large data sets is crucial to the science, however. "Discoveries often come from just looking at it," she explained.
Rupert Croft, associate professor of physics, said cosmological simulations are so massive that only a segment can be visualized at a time using usual techniques. Yet whatever is happening within that segment is being affected by forces elsewhere in the simulation that cannot be readily accessed. By converting the entire simulation into a time-lapse GigaPan, however, Croft and his Ph.D. student, Yu Feng, were able to create an image that provided both the big picture of what was happening in the early universe and the ability to look in detail at any region of interest.
Using a conventional GigaPan camera, Janet Steven, an assistant professor of biology at Sweet Briar College in Virginia, has created time-lapse imagery of rapid-growing brassicas, known as Wisconsin Fast Plants. "This is such an incredible tool for plant biology," she said. "It gives you the advantage of observing individual plants, groups of plants and parts of plants, all at once."
Steven, who has received GigaPan training through the Fine Outreach for Science program, said time-lapse photography has long been used in biology, but the GigaPan technology makes it possible to observe a number of plants in detail without having separate cameras for each plant. Even as one plant is studied in detail, it's possible to also see what neighboring plants are doing and how that might affect the subject plant, she added.
Steven said creating time-lapse GigaPans of entire landscapes could be a powerful tool for studying seasonal change in plants and ecosystems, an area of increasing interest for understanding climate change. Time-lapse GigaPan imagery of biological experiments also could be an educational tool, allowing students to make independent observations and develop their own hypotheses.
Nourbakhsh provides a guided tour of GigaPan Time Machine's features on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_SZdTk-MDk.
Follow the School of Computer Science on Twitter @SCSatCMU. About Carnegie Mellon University: Carnegie Mellon (www.cmu.edu) is a private, internationally ranked research university with programs in areas ranging from science, technology and business, to public policy, the humanities and the arts. More than 11,000 students in the university's seven schools and colleges benefit from a small student-to-faculty ratio and an education characterized by its focus on creating and implementing solutions for real problems, interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation. A global university, Carnegie Mellon's main campus in the United States is in Pittsburgh, Pa. It has campuses in California's Silicon Valley and Qatar, and programs in Asia, Australia, Europe and Mexico. The university is in the midst of a $1 billion fundraising campaign, titled "Inspire Innovation: The Campaign for Carnegie Mellon University," which aims to build its endowment, support faculty, students and innovative research, and enhance the physical campus with equipment and facility improvements.
Carnegie Mellon University
Related Biology Articles:
A new bioinformatics tool to compare genome data has been developed by teams from the Max F.
In balancing speed and accuracy to duplicate DNA and produce proteins, Rice University researchers find evolution determined that speed is favored much more.
Skin color patterns in animals arise from microscopic interactions among colored cells that obey equations discovered by Alan Turing.
In contrast to other members of the Drosophila family, the spotted-wing fly D. suzukii deposits its eggs in ripe fruits.
Professor Henry Heng's team, from the medical school at Wayne State University, has published a perspective article titled A Systems Biology Perspective on Molecular Cytogenetics to address the issue.
Messenger RNAs bearing the genetic information for the synthesis of proteins are delivered to defined sites in the cell cytoplasm by molecular motors.
Akira Kudo at Tokyo Institute of Technology(Tokyo Tech) and colleagues report in Scientific Reports, December 2016, that live-imaging and transcriptome analysis of medaka fish transgenic lines lead to immediate alteration of cells responsible for bone structure formation.
Understanding how the nervous system of the roundworm C. elegans works will give insights into how our vastly more complex brains function and is the subject of a paper in Nature Methods.
The use of Camelid antibodies has important implications for future development of reagents for diagnosis and therapeutics in diseases involving a group of enzymes called serine proteases.
Virtually all membrane proteins have been reported to be organized as clusters on cell surfaces, when in fact many of them are just single proteins which have been counted multiple times.
Related Biology Reading:
Campbell Biology (11th Edition)
by Lisa A. Urry (Author), Michael L. Cain (Author), Steven A. Wasserman (Author), Peter V. Minorsky (Author), Jane B. Reece (Author)
Note: You are purchasing a standalone product; MyLab™ & Mastering™ does not come packaged with this content. Students, if interested in purchasing this title with MyLab & Mastering, ask your instructor for the correct package ISBN and Course ID. Instructors, contact your Pearson representative for more information.
If you would like to purchase boththe physical text and MyLab & Mastering, search for:
0134082311 / 9780134082318 Campbell Biology Plus MasteringBiology... View Details
Biology (Quick Study Academic)
by Inc. BarCharts (Author)
BarCharts’ best-selling quick reference to biology has been updated and expanded in this latest edition. With updated content and an additional panel of information, this popular guide is not only an essential companion for students in introductory biology courses but also a must-have refresher for students in higher-level courses. Author Randy Brooks, PhD, a scientist and university professor, has a gift for making the complicated subject of biology easy to understand, from evolution to population genetics―without the fluff. In this new edition, you will find more coverage of the... View Details
Biology: The Essentials - No access code
by Mariëlle Hoefnagels Dr. (Author)
THE HOEFNAGELS STORY…
The second edition of Biology: The Essentials epitomizes what the market has come to recognize as Mariëlle Hoefnagels’ distinct and student-friendly writing-style. Mariëlle presents up-to-date information through “What’s the Point?”, “Why We Care”, and “Burning Questions”―pedagogical tools designed to demonstrate to readers, and her own students, that biology is everywhere. Biology: The Essentials, 2nd Edition offers a broader and more conceptual introduction to biology, simplifying the more complex biological content to... View Details
by Yael Avissar (Author), Jung Choi (Author), Jean DeSaix (Author)
Biology is grounded in an evolutionary basis and includes exciting features that highlight careers in the biological sciences and everyday applications of the concepts at hand. To meet the needs of today's instructors and students, some topics have been condensed and combined; for example, phylogenetic trees are presented in the various ways they are currently being developed by scholars, so instructors can adapt their teaching to the approach that works best in their classroom. The book also includes an innovative art program that incorporates critical thinking and clicker questions to help... View Details
The Biology Coloring Book
by Robert D. Griffin (Author), Cinthea Vadala (Illustrator)
Readers experience for themselves how the coloring of a carefully designed picture almost magically creates understanding. Indispensable for every biology student. View Details
Biology: An Illustrated History of Life Science (Ponderables: 100 Discoveries that Changed History)
by Tom Jackson (Author), Tom Jackson (Editor)
Here is the essential guide to biology, an authoritative reference book and fold out timeline that examines how we have uncovered the secrets of lifethe most complex process in the Universe.
From the workings of molecules to the way entire oceans or continents of lifeforms interact, biology seeks to understand how it is that something can be alive, how it fends off death and how it leaves more life in its wake.
We follow the journey through the history of life science to find out why the dolphin got its name (it is the womb fish), how a seven-foot strand of DNA is... View Details
Biology For Dummies
by Rene Fester Kratz (Author)
The ultimate guide to understanding biology
Have you ever wondered how the food you eat becomes the energy your body needs to keep going? The theory of evolution says that humans and chimps descended from a common ancestor, but does it tell us how and why? We humans are insatiably curious creatures who can't help wondering how things work—starting with our own bodies. Wouldn't it be great to have a single source of quick answers to all our questions about how living things work? Now there is.
From molecules to animals, cells to ecosystems, Biology For Dummies answers all... View Details
Biology: The Ultimate Self Teaching Guide - Introduction to the Wonderful World of Biology
by Bobbi Leigh Templeton (Author)
Your Introductory Guide to Biology - 2ND EDITION! Free bonus inside! (Right after Conclusion) - Get limited time offer, Get your BONUS right NOW! If you have ever wanted to know more about biology, but thought it would too confusing, then this is the book for you. We take the concepts of biology and put them in simple terms, allowing you to better understand the amazing diversity of our planet! With An Introduction to the Wonderful World of Biology, you'll learn about how cells do the work that supports life. You will also come to appreciate the cycle of life, how species... View Details
Campbell Biology (10th Edition)
by Jane B. Reece (Author), Lisa A. Urry (Author), Michael L. Cain (Author), Steven A. Wasserman (Author), Peter V. Minorsky (Author), Robert B. Jackson (Author)
The Tenth Edition of the best-selling text Campbell BIOLOGY helps launch you to success in biology through its clear and engaging narrative, superior pedagogy, and innovative use of art and photos to promote student learning.
The Tenth Edition helps you develop a deeper understanding of biology by making connections visually across chapters and building the scientific skills needed for success in upper-level courses.New Make Connections Figures pull together content... View Details
Biology: Science for Life with Physiology (5th Edition)
by Colleen Belk (Author), Virginia Borden Maier (Author)
NOTE: You are purchasing a standalone product; MasteringBiology does not come packaged with this content. If you would like to purchase both the physical text and MasteringBiology search for ISBN-10: 0321918371/ISBN-13: 9780321918376. That package includes ISBN-10: 0321922212 /ISBN-13: 9780321922212 and ISBN-10: 0133923452/ISBN-13: 9780133923452 .
For non-majors biology courses.
... View Details