The challenge that utilities are facing is how to attract and retain younger workers in what is becoming an increasingly competitive market place. What I am seeing is that 3D technology can help. The net generation is conversant with communications, media, and digital technologies and in particular have been brought up with gaming technology, PSPs, XBoxes, and Wiis. Many modern 3D design applications, which use the same 3D visualization tools that were developed for the gaming industry, provide an environment that is much more familiar and stimulating for the millennial generation, who may perceive traditional 2D design as something left over from the dark ages. In the last few months I have come across several utilities who are finding that for this reason 3D engineering design technology can contribute to attracting and retaining younger workers.
If you’ll be in Brooklyn in two weeks, consider checking out this Intermediate Processing Workshop at the Devotion Gallery. The workshop 4 days, 4 hours each day, with a registration of $350 ($250 for Students).
This four-day workshop will introduce the participants to Processing syntax and coding structures, going from the basics to more advanced concepts like object-oriented programming and using libraries to extend Processing’s core functions. Participants will receive a pre-prepared library of code examples demonstrating the topics covered in the workshop, and will have a chance to discuss how they might use Processing in their existing practice
The MUVE Virtual Patient Care Simulation Lab aims to provide a virtual environment for the training and education of medical specialists, based on the tools of Second Life. The fully interactive environment is part virtual world, part test as the user can select individual medications for IV’s and tools for patient care.
MUVE Market Virtual Patient Care Simulation Lab is an outstanding platform for medical training. Here is a compelling and detailed video that highlights some of the great features they offer and which are made possible in the Virtual World of Second Life.
Another SIGGRAPH2010 Course has published their materials online, this time it’s Magnus Wrenninge’s “Volumetric Methods in Visual Effects”.
The course begins with a quick introduction to generating and rendering volumes. We then present a production usable volumetrics toolkit, focusing on the feature set and why those features are desirable. Finally we present the specific tools developed at Double Negative, DreamWorks, Sony Imageworks, Rhythm & Hues, and Side Effects Software. The production system presentations will delve into development history, how the tools are used by artists, and the strengths and weaknesses of the software.
You can download the course materials as a 65M, 273 Page PDF at his site.
ITT Visual Information Solutions, creators of the popular IDL data analysis product and ENVI geospatial analysis product, have just announced an academic partnership called the “ITT Innovation Centers” that will offer any college or university in the US or Canada teaching courses in image and data analysis free software, training resources, and consultations with ITT representatives. In addition, they’ll get the chance to preview upcoming releases and offer feedback, making potential graduates even more useful in the field.
“ITT is committed to supporting academic endeavors that further the growth of fields that help advance science and improve the human condition.” said Nigel Brown, director of academic programs for ITT Visual Information Solutions. “By providing access to leading software technologies and curriculum and giving our academic partners input into our product development, we are able to contribute in ways that not only support these disciplines, but also advance the careers of professionals nationwide.”
Great to see more companies coming on board with aiding in the education process. Not only is it good for the company (grooming the future employees of America on the use of their own software), but it’s good for everyone to have more data analysis and image processing experts who actually know the functionality of the tools available.
The School of Visual Arts (SVA) is playing host to a short course by Shawn Allen on data visualization. It’s just begun, and the first entry is a brief history of Data Visualization.
Data visualization is a pretty literal term that means, quite simply, the visual representation of quantitative data. In this course we’ll learn common techniques for visualizing data, as well as some strategies for managing information digitally. But first, a brief history.
It begins with the first charts by William Playfair, and goes through modern inventions like IBM ManyEyes and Google Fusion. After some history, it goes through the usual ‘What is Data’ and various types of charts and data formats.
You wouldn’t expect a company like UPS to be experts in data visualization, but when you think about it: How better to track the massive quantities of trucks and packages at their command? A webinar at Information Management will covers some of UPS’s techniques and tools and gets down into the Management-centric details of how they use their visualizations to make money.
UPS uses data analysis and visualization as part of its tactical and strategic planning process. In an industry where delivery time is critical, UPS leverages tools which allow them to make game-time decisions and quickly adjust their operations as new information is received.
Attend this session and learn how to:
Recognize immediate cost savings opportunities on even the most complex data sources.
Use mapping to understand location trends in your business.
Quickly and easily build dashboards regardless of technical or analytics ability.
Identify challenges that can be addressed with advanced visualization.
A new free download popped up on Steam last week called ‘Moonbase Alpha’, using the Unreal engine to create a short game where you attempt to repair a crippled lunar base. The project is an experiment by NASA to see if they can raise interested in the Space Program the same way America’s Army is used in military recruitment.
“It started as an effort to prove we could create a commercial quality game using NASA content that is fun. NASA was looking for a project at the same time the Army Game Studio was looking to branch out from America’s Army. It helped that Army Game Studio and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center are co-located at Redstone Arsenal in Alabama. Virtual Heroes has a history for with America’s Army so we were excited to see them selected to support the Army Game Studio on the game.”
The entire game can easily be completed in 20 minutes, putting it squarely in the ‘proof of concept’ category. However, this is the testbed for what NASA eventually wants to build: A full blown MMO.
As a visualization expert, the first thing you always have to do when dealing with a new person is explaining what you do. Many people have seen so many badly done infographics and excel charts that they think that is the state of the art for data visualization, and convincing them otherwise can be difficult. Juice Analytics has a great new poster available that can turn anyone from ignorant to knowledgeable in 30 days at less than 30 minutes a day.
One of the hurdles we frequently come up against is that people who aren’t actively participating in the visualization discussion don’t know what’s possible. All they’ve ever seen in many cases are the confusing dashboards charts and graphs that are all too prevalent from the vendors in our space. You know the ones a thick layer of technology slathered with some gloss and wiggle between two slices of “do it yourself”.
It won’t make them experts, but at least they won’t be ignorant.
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