CS528 Project 2 Proposal

February 27, 2020

Project Idea Sketch
'Space to Think' in 3D: A three-dimensional virtual analytics environment. Visualizations and Data may each be spatialized and arranged in a 3D virtual world and 'lenses' into the world allow you to view data on a 3D medium (CAVE2, left) or 2D medium (variable size display, right).


This project aims to couple the idea of Space to Think with Virtual Reality and Immersive Analytics. The goal of the probject is to provide a user with an immersive, 3-dimensional analytical workspace. The first layer of the project is to allow users to arrange related visualizations in a 3D virtual world.

A 3D Lens will be created in which a user can navigate through the virtual workspace. Additionally, this 3D lens allows a user to spatialize data in three dimensions around themsleves. 2D visualizations can be visualize on the display plane to preserve resolution and detail or juxtaposed with related data points.

2D Lenses are an orthographic view into the virtual space and would behave similar to how software like SAGE2 behaves. However, a user may still navigate through the 3D virtual workspace.


Previous work such as Immersive Insights has worked to create a Dataspace environment. However, the immersive aspect of the visualization was supported solely by Hololens whereas the displays were solely two dimensional. The proposed work aims to spatialize not just the data but also the analysis organization, blending the spatial of data elements along with the arrangement of visualizations.

Benefit of VR

Virtual Reality will allow for user immersion for data spatialization, i.e. visualizing a large dataset in three dimensional space. Additionally, it is an exploration into the concept of spatializing analysis or visualizations semantically using 3-dimensional space.


This project will be implemented in a Server-Client architecture. The server will store the central organization of information within the 3D virtual space, with Lens Clients implemented in the CAVE2 (3D) and a scalable 2D version. A back-end shared 2D visualization rendering (possibly using VegaLite) will be used for two-dimensional visualization and live, interactive 3D visualizations will be implemented natively in CAVE2.