Carto Project

Summary of August 11, 2004 - Carto BOF Meeting at SIGGRAPH 2004

Theresa-Marie Rhyne

ACM SIGGRAPH Carto Project Director

On Wednesday of SIGGRAPH 2004, the ACM SIGGRAPH Carto Project held a Birds-of-a-Feather session to report on 2004 activities and to demonstrate future projects underway. As the Carto Project is a collaborative effort with the International Cartographic Association (ICA)'s Commission on Visualization and Virtual Environments and the X3D GeoSpatial Working Group of the Web3D Consortium, reports on these efforts were also provided.

Theresa-Marie Rhyne, ACM SIGGRAPH Carto Project Director, highlighted efforts of the ACM SIGGRAPH Carto Project. A new development for this year involved the inclusion of a half day course on "Visualizing Geospatial Data" in the technical program of the ACM SIGGRAPH 2004 conference. This course was taught by Theresa-Marie Rhyne and Alan MacEachren. For more information see: (

Next, Alan MacEachren, Chair of the International Cartographic Association (ICA)'s Commission on Visualization and Virtual Environments, reported on efforts of the Commission. The Commission has a new web site located at: ( The Commission has two major activities currently underway: 1) a GeoVisualization developers workshop that will be held October 20th, 2004 in conjunction with the GIScience 2004 event (the Third International Conference on Geographic Information Science) at the University of Maryland University College and 2) Geovisualization paper sessions during the main GIScience 2004 (October 20 - 23, 2004) event. More information on GIScience is available at: (

Chris Thorne summarized the centered interaction and motion (CIM) and distributed web3d protocol techniques he was presenting the next day in the SIGGRAPH 2004 Web3D graphics program session entitled "3D". The techniques were demonstrated using planet-earth: a free online virtual earth that he and Viveka Weiley have been developing. planet-earth uses 3map: an Open Source framework and and set of tools for translating terrain data and images to different formats and generating multiresolution versions optimised for online broadband delivery. 3map uses many concepts associated with former GeoVRML work and recent X3D Geospatial work. To find out more about 3map, see: (

Next, Alan Hudson provided an update on the efforts of the X3D GeoSpatial Working Group of the Web3D Consortium given that Mike McCann, Chair of the Working Group, was unable to attend. The goal of the X3D GeoSpatial Working Group is to enable geo-referenced data, such as maps and 3-D terrain models, to be viewed in non-spatial applications (e.g. web browsers)and to integrate spatial and non-spatial data through web services. These efforts follow from previous GeoVRML work fostered by the Web3D Consortium. More information on this new working group is available at: (

David Colleen of Planet 9 Studios, Inc. followed with a real time demonstration of Planet 9's latest geographic visualization and virtual cities efforts. Planet 9 Studios, one of the largest suppliers of accurate 3D city data, has produced more than 40 virtual cities. Details of these virtual cities projects are available at: (

Michael Jones of Keyhole Inc. concluded the Carto BOF session with a demonstration of Keyhole's EarthStream technology that consists of client software (what is used to view the Earth), integration software (what is used to build the Earth), and server software (what is used to stream out the Earth). Keyhole is a client-server solution for hosting and distributing massive geospatial databases. Further details on Keyhole are available at: (

After this well attended session, it was agreed to meet again at SIGGRAPH 2005.