Moontable

Date: 2015/12 Client: SL Rasch Company: m box Bewegtbild GmbH Location: Mecca, Saudi Arabia Type: Commissioned work #interactive #data‑visualization #multitouch #showroom #table #touch

m box Bewegtbild GmbH created the concept, design and actually developed the software of an interactive multi-touch-table for the exhibition area of the Mecca Tower, worlds biggest clock tower.

The application shows the highest resolution elevation data of the moon currently available, creating a uniquely high-definition, three-dimensional representation of the moon to be navigated, turned, zoomed into using multi-touch gestures—very much in a way one would interact with Google Maps or Google World. The huge data-sets (more than 100GB of data) is dynamically loaded depending on zoom level, view angle and user selection. Besides the ultra-high-resolution elevation data the application allows to access one of the most comprehensive moon-related databases, which was compiled especially for this project.

The application allows users to access additional information, click on craters or other points of interests like moon landing sites, retrieve further textual information, images, videos and additional data like crater diameters, coordinates, elevation data and so on.

A highlight of the actual exhibit is a control interface built into the application, which enables the control and synchronization of the rotation of a 3D-printed and painted physical moon model of approximately 5 meters in diameter, installed on site in Mecca.

Displaying the sheer amount of data in an interactive real-time-application was only possible by using latest cutting-edge technology like on-demand screen-space geometry tessellation, mutli-threading, so called “compute shaders” which allow for calculations to be done on the graphics card, and more. The communication with external entities like the physical moon exhibit demanded the implementation of advanced communication protocols.

Test Setup Photos

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Application Snapshots

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Application Manual

Outline

Client SL Rasch
Company m box Bewegtbild GmbH
m box / Claus Helfenschneider
application development
Location Mecca Tower, Saudi Arabia

All image and video footage by courtesy of m box Bewegtbild GmbH and SL Rasch.

My role

Probably being the most elaborate application I have developed so far, I created and programmed the complete application from software architecture to the final product. My obligation was also to communicate with moon research scientists from different parts of the world in order to understand the huge and complex data-sets, make sense, use and display data in very specific formats from NASA and other research-focused entities.