On-the-fly Collaboration

This page contains information on creating collaborative end-user visualization applications. These applications are designed to allow non expert users of IRIS Explorer gain access to its visualization power and in addition, collaborate with their colleagues. These applications aim to make the collaboration process as seamless as possible. A number of collaborative applications are available in this release as described below; they can be accessed by running IRIS Explorer in application mode using the -app command line argument (e.g explorer -app <application name>)

Example Collaborative Applications

Medical Example

This application is designed to read volumes of CT and SPECT data and then visualize the data one slice at a time (from each volume). The two data sets must be correlated in space so it makes sense to overlay them and draw conclusions from the resulting image. This correlation process must be done before you can run the application. In the remainder of this section CT data is referred to as Bone data and SPECT data is referred to as Blood data.

The application can be used to visualize blood OR bone data separately or to visualize corresponding volumes of both blood and bone data together. Some options are only available when both data sets are present. The application is set up to demonstrate that the data need not necessarily be present at each site before the application is started. Data is allowed to be either local or remote (see Blood/Bone Source widgets in application help file). When in a collaborative session, some of the control panel widgets are set up to be shared, while others are only locally controllable. Shared widgets are marked as Shared in the application help file, and with an asterix (*) on the user interface. Two data sets (one CT and one SPECT) are available as an example and are to be found in:-
        $EXPLORERHOME/data/lattice/CTvol.lat       Bone (CT) data
        $EXPLORERHOME/data/lattice/SPvol.lat       Blood (SPECT) data
where $EXPLORERHOME is the root dirtectory of the installed IRIS Explorer tree.

The application is set up in two halves, a blood half and a bone half. One collaborator should run the Medical_blood application and the other should run the Medical_bone application. When joined to a collaborative session, the two complementary setups provide all the necessary data. Alternatively, the application can be run by a single user by running the Medical_blood application and inserting the filename for the bone data (shown above) in the Bone Data text box. The Bone Source should then be set to local.

Protein Database Viewer

This is a collaborative version of the original PDBViewer application which is used to view PDB (protein data base) files. It can be used in single user mode in exactly the same way as the original protein data base viewer (which is available in the same way and also existed in the previous release of IRIS Explorer), or can be hooked up to a collaborative session to allow the collaborative exploration of the protein data base. When in collaborative mode, those widgets that are under collaborative control are marked with an asterix (*).

Graph Viewer

This is an example application that can be used in both single user mode as well as collaboratively. It allows the visualization of gridded data either as a bar chart, or as a displaced surface. The colouring of the data can be controlled, and a colour legend can be added. In collaborative mode, all of the control panel widgets that are shared between collaborators are marked with an asterix (*). A shared pointer is available to highlight objects in the scene in collaborative sessions.