Entries from January 2014 ↓

Sabbatical Report, week 3

Database work is moving along nicely.  I have huge amounts of data in various formats, but I believe I have now trimmed down and distilled to just two structures that will work for all of the Ryan Museum specimens and the program teaching collections.  Using the data in ArcGIS will not be difficult with these two structures.  Perhaps I am showing naive optimism.

Google Earth Pro is now installed.  Use of GE Pro will make location work considerably more effective for “virtual” ground-truthing of specimen data.

The video below shows the star program of the Ideum touch table, The Layered Earth!  Imagine being able to call up the geographic location and other details about the fossil specimens in the background!  That ability is not available yet, but getting closer, whew.



Sabbatical Report, Week 2

Both software and hardware major developments occurred this week!

The major hardware developments occurred with the touch table.  I upgraded the OS  to Windows 8 to take advantage of the native touch applications  in that system.    Dual- monitor workstations for application development are up and running with Windows 8 and Windows 7.   The Windows 8 workstation uses an Intuous touch pad in addition to standard keyboard and mouse inputs.  The big advantage of the three systems of touch table, W8 and W7 workstations is that I am able to blend and test a wide variety of inputs with a number of related software packages.  Related software packages include The Layered Earth, ArcGIS 10.2, Gestureworks suite,  and the ubiquitous MS Office apps and internet browsers.

The major software developments center on finalizing the software applications that offer the most potential for realizing the three goals of the sabbaticalThe Layered Earth (TLE) is working beautifully on the touch table.  I spent considerable amounts of time looking at TLE data structure, and I should be able to create custom datasets from existing collection data without too much difficulty.  The very large caveat is that I have not yet actually created any custom datasets!  Gestureworks and ArcGIS will be used extensively.  Other software may be used .  These three applications are going to be the heavy lifters for the time being.   The data and software interoperability will be facilitated with Python 2.7 as a common scripting language.  Python seems to work well with HTML, KML, and GML protocols.

The stage and sets are close to being complete.  Now it is time for the  scripts and application to write the play for the Museum specimens and planetarium to perform.

More next week from the Ryan Museum Catacombs!

Sabbatical Report, Week 1

The project has started; the project proposal is now on its way to becoming reality.

I spent the first week staying busy with assembling and assessing hardware function and capability,  and re-inventorying and refreshing existing datasets.

Hardware:  The touch table is up and running in the Museum.  The ubiquitous duct tape stripes are covering cables while I figure out the table’s  final location and configuration.  If you would like to see the touch table manufacture’s website look here -> http://ideum.com/products/multitouch/professional/

Software:  I evaluated a considerable amount of the software bundled with the touch table.  At this time, I am reviewing the functionality and  adaptability of the software.   I am still not completely clear on how I am going to interface existing data, planetarium software and touch screen software.  Google Earth, Microsoft Planet, The Layered Earth, and some utility packages produced some spectacular results on the touch table.   I looking forward to trying out ArcGIS  and Gestureworks next.  I am most excited about the possibilities that The Layered Earth software offers.

I am also considering operational design.   How will Museum visitors actually work with the table?  What sort of challenges will they face?  What will be the best balance of operational ease and functionality?

More next week from DeepGeekSpace!