By Chris Hoffman
UC Berkeley has recently embraced immersive visualization in the classroom, in research, and for public engagement. While this extends across all campus disciplines and a number of technologies, a growing community is using photogrammetry to develop 3D visualizations of objects and places, both as digital documentation to answer new questions inextricably linked to materiality. Dr. Rite Lucarelli, an Egyptologist in the Near Eastern Studies department, uses 3D models of sacrophagi to examine the interconnection between magic, science, and religion in ancient Egypt and in antiquity by focusing on magical texts belonging to the corpus of "Book of the Dead" and other related magical compositions on material items in their cultural contexts.
Over the last few years, display walls have garnered significant interest in the library community as visible investments towards a digital, collaborative, visual approach to academic endeavors. As some observers have noted, display walls have been around a while in the academic context, and more are being installed all the time.
Brown University Library was early to the display wall scene, opening the Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab (with its 16×7 foot display wall) in late 2012:
Last week, Mike Nutt, lead PI, and myself, Shelby Hallman, project manager, boldly went where no NCSU librarian has gone before -- to THE CAAV annual conference! The Higher Education Campus Alliance for Advanced Visualization, or THE CAAV for short, is a non-profit organization focusing on issues and discussion within the realm of immersive and advanced visualization. THE CAAV is a newer organization, established in 2015, with 168 current members. The members represent a range of roles and types of advanced scientific visualization labs, including academic labs and national labs.
The NCSU Libraries has chosen five cohort institutions as part of a $414,000 “Visualizing Digital Scholarship in Libraries and Learning Spaces” grant that the University was awarded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in May.
I'm Mike Nutt, the lead principal investigator for this “Visualizing Digital Scholarship in Libraries and Learning Spaces” grant. Or, as we like to call it, the Immersive Scholar project.
One of the key problems that our Visualizing Digital Scholarship grant seeks to address is that there is an "absence of a community of practice of scholars and librarians who work in large-scale multimedia prevents visually immersive scholarly work from entering the research lifecycle." While this will be a problem that we continue to tackle over the three years of the grant's activities, there are two things we're going to do right out of the gate to grow that community: