Southern California Conferences for Undergraduate Research

Southern California Conferences for Undergraduate Research

Developing an Immersive 3D Data Visualization Engine


Alexandru Cioc


S. G. Djorgovski, Professor of Astronomy, California Institute of Technology

As both data and ideas become increasingly complex, they become more difficult to represent. As a result, the field of data visualization is ever evolving. The scope of this project was to devise a new multi-user immersive world using the popular Unity 3D Game Engine that can be used to visualize data in a simple, intuitive, manner given a data set with a number of parameters. By learning C#, JavaScript, and the Unity Scripting Language, a working application was devised. Rather than merely plotting points, the application creates objects of various shapes, colors, sizes, and also contains a parameter for more information on the point (an interactive link which creates a web browser within the 3D world). Evolving from a simple plotter to a complex application that features such abilities as rapidly hiding points of a specific parameter for better viewing, loading multiple CSV or TXT files, and interacting with data in immersive ways, the application has been a success. It can be concluded that the Unity Engine is worthwhile in the development of data visualization software and is capable of handing hundreds of thousands of data points with ease. Further work can be done to improve the current application and more efficient programming methods could be implemented should they be found necessary.

Presented by:

Alexandru Cioc


Saturday, November 17, 2012


9:00 AM — 9:15 AM


Bell Tower 1422

Presentation Type:

Oral Presentation