DRAFT – For VISTAS Team Discussion

Research Directions that the VISTAS Project Could Go in the Future Brainstorming Ideas for a VISTAS FUTURE…. These are in no particular order
* indicates an idea coming from a collaborator ( ** means two collaborators….)

  1. *** JB going open source in a sustainable way, to ensure VISTAS lives on for our collaborators. We would also work with new users and new developers. Bob has already identified several other EPA projects that would like to use VISTAS. Allen (an EPA computer scientist and also author of their fish model) has indicated an interest in participating. John has also made suggestions about how this would happen.


  1. JB representing time better (this ties in nicely with volume extrusion (see below) AND animation)
  2. *JB representing uncertainty graphically. Of course, this would depend on our collaborators being able to estimate a level of uncertainty well. This is a particular interest of John’s
  3. scaling up or down in space graphically (this would include the changes needed for flexible graphical extents – the dominique issue).
  4. *JB really digging into the question we have been unable to address – which visualizations work for whom and when.
  5. MB Extrusion: We keep brushing up against this, but never seem to get to it. I think, from what little we got to experience with Nick Schultz, that this is a high-potential technique. Lots needs to be done on the display and especially the UI. Also, how do we compare two trajectories? Can we produce a “Comparison Extrusion Volume” that looks at the differences between two Extrusion Volumes?
  6. MB Stereographics: I have always been very impressed with what this display technique can do, especially with 3D data plotted on top of terrain. There are so many options out there now: stereo monitors, Oculus Rift, Microsoft HoloLens, etc. While lots of people have used these techniques, very few user surveys have appeared testing how cognitively useful these are. We could be among the first.
  7. MB Terrain Height Server: we could take our terrain height server public, but would need to do a few things such as set up an actual server with a hunky multicore processor attached. (Just parallelizing the filtering algorithms would make an interesting project.) We would also need to mip-map the data to create a hierarchy of resolutions. How much to do that would also be interesting.
  8. MB My quick-and-dirty attempt at turning 3D SHP files into 3D-printer-ready STL files didn’t work well. I know why. We could work on this