3:30 PM - 3:45 PM
[MGI37-06] Introduction of “ChOWDER”: A tiled display driver that augment large scale visualization of geoscience.
Keywords:Tiled Display, Visualization, Web Browser, Collaborative work
The Tiled display is a method that tiles multiple physical displays to provide large pixel space. Demand for tiled displays is expected to increase in the research fields that deal with data requiring large-scale, high-resolution visualization such as geoscience. In this paper, we first describe the outline of "ChOWDER", a system that realizes tiled display in software, and then introduce example applications in geoscience. Finally, we will explain how to obtain ChOWDER software.
ChOWDER is an open source tiled display driver which is jointly conducting research and development between RIKEN and Kyushu University, running on Windows, Linux, and macOS. It has a unique feature called "Virtual Display Area "(Hereinafter referred to as" VDA ") which is not available in other tiled display drivers.
The VDA is a logical two-dimensional space managed by the ChOWDER server, and the display contents can be arranged at arbitrary positions and magnification ratios here. In addition, since the display device which is the content display destination can also be placed on the VDA at an arbitrary position/magnification ratio, by using this, it is possible to build a tiled display with high flexibility such as mixed displays with different resolutions and aspect ratios.
Since the necessary software for the display device is only an ordinary Web browser such as Firefox, Chrome, there is no need to install special software or expensive graphics board corresponding to multiple display connection. When the Web browser connects to the ChOWDER server, it is in the full-screen display mode, and the whole pixels of the physical display is used as the display area of ChOWDER. In other words, it functions as (a part of) the ChOWDER tiled display as long as it is a device on which the ordinary web browser runs.
Also, the device of the display content sending side needs only the Web browser. Static content such as text file, image file, PDF file and streaming contents such as movie file, the desktop screen of sending side device, web camera can be displayed on ChOWDER tiled display.
In addition, ChOWDER can mirror tiled displays of multiple sites. By lay over the display device positions of each site on the above VDA, it is possible to share and display contents between multiple sites.
With these features, we believe ChOWDER is a flexible software that can build a tiled display with a relatively small investment.
3. Use cases
Fig.2 shows a 16K resolution image by visualization software HIVE developed by RIKEN and display it to a tiled display consisting of twelve 4K display (15,360 × 6,480 total pixel resolution) through ChOWDER. It is parallel computation result of climate simulator NICAM used the whole system(88,128CPU) of "K computer". HIVE has the function of directly transmitting the rendering result image to ChOWDER, hence it is possible to simultaneously observe the entire overview and detailed parts without thinning out the high-resolution data generated by the large-scale simulation using the supercomputer.
Fig.3 shows a tiled display (17,280 × 5,120 total pixels) composed of 36 full HD displays owned by the Center for Environmental Remote Sensing, Chiba University. It displays two of AMATERASS (http://amaterass.nict.go/ index.html) screens and an image from Himawari 8 provided by the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology. The screen of AMATERASS is streamed from the users PC screen to ChOWDER, and when AMATERASS is operated on the PC, it also follows the display on the tiled display at the same time. Since PCs of multiple users can be displayed as contents sending sources and respective information can be displayed side by side on one tiled display, bird's-eye view-ish collaborative work can be performed.
4. Software distribution
ChOWDER is an open source software distributed under the BSD 2 clause license and can be used free of charge for academic and commercial use. You can download software and user documentation from GitHub. (https://github.com/SIPupstreamDesign/ChOWDER)