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This is an in-depth case study and can be difficult to fully experience on a mobile/tablet device. Please switch to a desktop device for the full experience

This is an in-depth case study and can be difficult to fully experience on a mobile/tablet device. Please switch to a desktop device for the full experience

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The next generation of ocean exploration

The Ocean. In a sandbox

What happens when scientists and designers join forces to solve how to visualize Ocean Eddies?

Nothing much, we dent the universe the ocean floor

SPONSORED COLLEGE PROJECT

PARCEL SPONSORS
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CONTEXT

Context

Studio class at ArtCenter College of Design, 14 weeks. Partner/Sponsor: MIT Wood Hole Oceanography Institute
Under Grant from: Keck NAKFI

Studio class at ArtCenter College of Design, 14 weeks. Partner/Sponsor: MIT Wood Hole Oceanography Institute. Under Grant from: Keck NAKFI

TEAM SIZE

Team Size

Proof of concept: 3
Further Development: Self

Proof of concept: 3
Further Development: Self

ROLE

Role

Research, Conceptualization, Prototyping, Wireframing and Visual Interface Design

Research, Conceptualization, Prototyping, Wireframing and Visual Interface Design

in 7 seconds Parcel ...

... supercharges oceanographers' lives to fully explore and play with their previously under-explored rich ocean eddy data to make meaningful discoveries

Conceptualized a product that allows oceanographers to fully explore and play with their previously under-explored rich ocean eddy data to make meaningful discoveries

a deeper "dive"

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Field research

Field research

Observed life and instrumentation on deck a research vessel. Interacted with, interviewed and observed 4 PhD scientists at Scripps Oceanography Institute, San Diego

Observed life and instrumentation on deck a research vessel. Interacted with, interviewed and observed 4 PhD scientists at Scripps Oceanography Institute, San Diego

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What is stopping scientists from making the discoveries they set out to make?

What is stopping scientists from making the discoveries they set out to make?

Scientists have to use tools like the one on the left to understand complex phenomena like on the right

Scientists have to use tools like the one on the left to understand complex phenomena like on the right

oldTool1

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Oceanographers have three distinct needs, in order of importance

Oceanographers have three distinct needs, in order of importance

Explore and analyse data

Publish findings

Stay connected to community

INSIGHT #1

INSIGHT #1

Oceanographers really want to but can't analyse or explore sub-sections of their data

Oceanographers really want to but can't analyse or explore sub-sections of their data

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Current tools only allow oceanographers to look at ocean eddies as an entire data point

Current tools only allow oceanographers to look at ocean eddies as an entire data point

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Create tools and systems to enable intuitive and exploratory sub-selection and analysis of the data

Create tools and systems to enable intuitive and exploratory sub-selection and analysis of the data

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3D sub-selection tools

3D sub-selection tools

Ghosted data trajectories allow oceanographers to the sub-selection in context of the entire eddy/current. Ray tracing rendering brings the visuals to life. 

Ghosted data trajectories allow oceanographers to the sub-selection in context of the entire eddy/current. Ray tracing rendering brings the visuals to life. 

Selection-examples

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2D selection of 3D data

2D selection of 3D data

The patterns which emerge when looking at data through abstracted visualisations can be groundbreaking - we wante dto enable oceanographers to be able to "flatten" out their 3D data to get a 10,000 foot overview

The patterns which emerge when looking at data through abstracted visualisations can be groundbreaking - we wante dto enable oceanographers to be able to "flatten" out their 3D data to get a 10,000 foot overview

ParcelStreamCombo

INSIGHT #2

Oceanographers are exploring their data in isolation from each other across institutes, and countries. And they dislike that

Oceanographers are exploring their data in isolation from each other across institutes, and countries. And they dislike that

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Not all oceanographers live in proximity to the ocean and collaboration is a common practice - but right now there's a lot of hoops to jump through

Not all oceanographers live in proximity to the ocean and collaboration is a common practice - but right now there's a lot of hoops to jump through

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Create tools which allow oceanographers to collaborate without any friction

Create tools which allow oceanographers to collaborate without any friction

Create tools which allow oceanographers to collaborate without any friction

Proppanel

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Fluent use of other collaboration tools like Google Docs

Fluent use of other collaboration tools like Google Docs

Fluent use of other collaboration tools like Google Docs

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Mimic the collaborative nature of the products they're already familiar with to enable the brightest minds to "solve climate change in real time while shattering boundaries".

Institutions indicative of possible collaborators. No affiliation indicated

Mimic the collaborative nature of the products they're already familiar with to enable the brightest minds to "solve climate change in real time while shattering boundaries".

Institutions indicative of possible collaborators. No affiliation indicated

GlobalCollab

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Desire for and presence of cross-disciplinary, multi-institution Collaboration

Desire for and presence of cross-disciplinary, multi-institution Collaboration

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We wanted to make collaborating with engineers as frictionless as to collaborate with a fellow oceanographer with video chat being in-built.

We wanted to make collaborating with engineers as frictionless as to collaborate with a fellow oceanographer with video chat being in-built.

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Contextual Collaborative Annotations

Contextual Collaborative Annotations

Leave behind your questions, observations and comments in the data itself for others to explore and turn into discoveries!

Annotations

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Complex and scattered data on various institutional and personal Gits/Subversions 

Complex and scattered data on various institutional and personal Gits/Subversions 

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Centralised and aggregated library of Eddy data for oceanographers to explore and contribute to

Centralised and aggregated library of Eddy data for oceanographers to explore and contribute to

EddyLibrary

INSIGHT #3

Eddies evolve over time - days, months even years. Scientists don't have the tools to track these evolutions

Eddies evolve over time - days, months even years. Scientists don't have the tools to track these evolutions

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A time-based exploration paradigm

Oceanographers need tools to view an eddy at different points and to be able to replay the evolution of an eddy over time. Think of it like Premiere Pro for ocean eddies!

Future roadmap: Keyframe based Eddy generation and simulation!

Oceanographers need tools to view an eddy at different points and to be able to replay the evolution of an eddy over time. Think of it like Premiere Pro for ocean eddies!

Future roadmap: Keyframe based Eddy generation and simulation!

Oceanographers need tools to view an eddy at different points and to be able to replay the evolution of an eddy over time. Think of it like Premiere Pro for ocean eddies!

Future roadmap: Keyframe based Eddy generation and simulation!

Timeline

INSIGHT #4

There is a glaring disconnect between data manipulation and feedback

There is a glaring disconnect between data manipulation and feedback

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Oceanographers need to code, compile and render to see their changes take place

Oceanographers need to code, compile and render to see their changes take place

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Create real time WYSIWYG tools and platforms for them to manipulate, modify and control their data and their visualizations

Create real time WYSIWYG tools and platforms for them to manipulate, modify and control their data and their visualizations

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Data manipulation toolbars

Data manipulation toolbars

Giving oceanographers the tools to modify their data in-situ, control data layers, objects, viewing actions, connecting external data, managing APIs and token.

Edit history enables non-destructive rollbacks in different points of actions, and manipulations - similar to other step-based build softwares like SolidWorks

Giving oceanographers the tools to modify their data in-situ, control data layers, objects, viewing actions, connecting external data, managing APIs and token.

Edit history enables non-destructive rollbacks in different points of actions, and manipulations - similar to other step-based build softwares like SolidWorks

Panels1

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View and Render control toolbars 

View and Render control toolbars 

Visual affordances enable oceanographers to quickly visualise the almost-infinite ways to visualize the data instead of having to rely on code

Visual affordances enable oceanographers to quickly visualise the almost-infinite ways to visualize the data instead of having to rely on code

Panels2

INSIGHT #5

Sharing scientific data is jargon-loaded and often too technical for it to be enjoyable to consumed by the masses

Sharing scientific data is jargon-loaded and often too technical for it to be enjoyable to consumed by the masses

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Hosted universal data viz ibrary 

We wanted to enable these dynamic and interactive visualizations to be distributed anywhere. This can be realised with a WebGL library to make the discoveries be compelling, interactive and embeddable in Journal publications, Prime time TV, print media  - everywhere 

PowerfulPublishing@2x

INSIGHT #6

INSIGHT #6

Scientists can't have a conversation about their work unless they are at their physical terminal

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Mobile companion

Imagine being at a conference and being able to whip out your recent discovery. Imagine sparking an idea in someone else in that meeting! Oceanographers can finally talk about their work without having to rely on their terminal with them!

MobileWall

Outcome & Credits

Outcome & Credits

Keck-logo

Project was featured as part of partnership case study progress update to other grant awardees at the NAKFI Mid-Cycle Grant meeting at Hyatt, Huntington Garden

Grant for proposal granted by the KECK NAKFI Futures Deep Blue Sea program at the National Acadmies of Science

Project was featured as part of partnership case study progress update to other grant awardees at the NAKFI Mid-Cycle Grant meeting at Hyatt, Huntington Garden

Grant for proposal granted by the KECK NAKFI Futures Deep Blue Sea program at the National Acadmies of Science

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Project was featured in a case study presentation at the IXDA Education Summit by Maggie Hendrie, our department Chair

Project was featured in a case study presentation at the IXDA Education Summit by Maggie Hendrie, our department Chair

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Foundational principles from Parcel were used in and to influence the development of a fluid trajectory design and simulation system at Caltech. 

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Grant proposal originally co-authored by Maggie Hendrie (ArtCenter) and Dr Larry Pratt (MIT Woods Hole Oceanogrpahy Institute)

Grant proposal originally co-authored by Maggie Hendrie (ArtCenter) and Dr Larry Pratt (MIT Woods Hole Oceanogrpahy Institute)

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Social Impact Studio class coordinated by and taught at ArtCenter College of Design through Designmatters - the Social Innovation MInor

Social Impact Studio class coordinated by and taught at ArtCenter College of Design through Designmatters - the Social Innovation MInor

Projects and their outcomes were also presented at Cumulus Conference, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland

Projects and their outcomes were also presented at Cumulus Conference, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland

© Akshay Agrawal. Student Projects; for demonstration purposes only. No association with any organisation unless specifically stated