Internship work for Harris E.S.S., 1998

RealSite Viewing application annotations

I was requested to add annotations and other objects to the viewing application for the RealSite project. RealSite extrudes urban scenes from multiple air and or satellite images. Once ground geometry (buildings) are realized into three dimensions the images used to acquire the geometry are applied as textures. The result is a model which closely represents the urban scene.

My work was more or less very general, a great deal of freedom was permitted in what I was to create. Here I will display some samples, but first let me introduce you to the viewer. Below is a full screen shot of the viewing application with just about everything 'turned on'. There are no 'annotations' in this scene, however, the rose compass and bottom menu are my work.

At the top of the screen is a heading indicator, to the right a map inset, and in the lower left corner a needle compass. These were implemented before my arrival. The view is of a prototype geometry model (not actually created by RealSite) and shows Harris buildings.

A rose compass is located in the upper left, which is the last object I created. The heading of the user is indicated by highlighting the petals with red (currently a South East heading). An attitude ball displays pitch and roll (indicating where the horizon should be). A small black stud indicates altitude. This object took ~16 hours to implement using Performer (in which all my work was done).

A menubar is on the bottom of the screen, it is a prototype for a metadata console. Certain types of information may not be displayed graphically in the world model, when that data seems relevant the data console indicates data availability by flashing LEDs. The user may then browse through available data and optionally display, save, &tc. (This is a prototype, only the appearance was implemented)

Below arrows and a volume container are displayed. The view is of the Harris wickham site, where I worked. The large dark blob in the center is a lake =)

The five 2D arrows in the scene (Two yellow and black, white and black, cyan, and pink) are samples of a wide range of arrows which dynamically rotate about their directional axis to maintain maximum visibility for the user. Some arrows have color animation for motion and blinking. There is also an arrow which simply receives a texture with alpha channel so that any drawn arrow may be used.

In the center is a transparent pyramid, with label. It, and it's many variations, are intended to enclose large volumes of space. Here a small one is used to mark an atrium which might have been overlooked otherwise. The label on top (unimaginatively the label reads 'PIN_PYRAMID') hovers around the volume and uses many techniques to maintain high visibility, including circular translation, rotation, and scaling with attention to display resolution. Variations also include narrow formations which mark a single position well.

Below is the entrance to one of the wickham buildings.

To help clarify scale to the user, silhouettes of a man, car, and trees are provided. They have a 'billboarding action' which allows them to rotate for visibility, and the man 'walks' a simple path. Any texture may easily be used for a silhouette.

To the right is a sign capable of holding any amount of text. Normally it is lowered so that only the large label is visible. A heuristic determines when the sign should raise its self to be visible, or perhaps the user may simply click the label to raise the sign (not implemented).

Above are four simple icons intended to represent metatdata(text, video, photo, geo/spatial) in the scene. They have many deforming behaviors which attempt to make them look 'happy' (that's what the man asked for..). These include a wobbling, bouncing, and spinning approach. The icons position relative to the user determines action type and amount. For example, when far away the icons spin but when approached they rotate to face the user.

These objects, and additional variations, were described in a final report.

Thanks go to Harris, and Mr. Ellery Chan, the man(boss).