Researchers from all across the world are faced with the great challenges involved in visualising "big data" - in particular, where image resolution and image size are concerned. The Institute of Visual Computing at the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences has put one of Germany's largest, interactive and ultra-high resolution display panels - including the corresponding PC cluster - into operation today.
"We live in a world in which the majority of work processes are aided by computers," said Professor Dr André Hinkenjann, Director of the Institute of Visual Computing. "These work processes continuously generate vast amounts of data that need analysing and evaluating." At this point the three metre by seven metre display panel sets new standards in visualising "big data". “We are capable of visualising up to 72 megapixels using the 35 screens of the display panel, which enables us to generate detailed two- and three-dimensional images and to conduct interactive analyses for various areas of research," Hinkenjann added.
Three computers - including nine graphics cards - are involved in digital image computation behind the display panel. However, the computational power provided is not sufficient to visualise complex results, "To enable true-to-scale visualisations of such products as high-quality cars, the computers are connected to a cluster of twelve additional computers," Hinkenjann added. The latter calculate the data capacity needed to visualise the challenging images; they then transmit them to the three computers at the display panel. To maintain the speed needed for data transmission, we have also established a network with a transmission rate of up to 60 GBits/s," André Hinkenjann explained, adding, "The display can be used in the research areas of computer science, maths, geography, biology, chemistry, medicine or materials science. However, some basic questions also remain to be answered. For example, one may wonder how computer users can interact with such large display panels in a user-friendly manner."
Link to the German press release