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Slicing the aurora: An immersive proxemics-aware visualization

Lay, S., Vermeulen, J., Perin, C. , Donovan, E., Dachselt, R. & Carpendale, S. (2016). Slicing the aurora: An immersive proxemics-aware visualization. In: Proceedings of the 2016 ACM Companion on Interactive Surfaces and Spaces. (pp. 91-97). New York, NY, United States: ACM. doi: 10.1145/3009939.3009954


The Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights is a phenomenon that has fascinated people throughout history. The AuroraMAX outreach initiative provides a collection of time-lapse videos of the night sky captured by a camera at Yellowknife in Canada. We present an interactive visualization of this AuroraMAX image data on a large touch display. Our visualization slices each time-lapse video to represent an entire night as a single image or keogram, provides different views on the keograms, and allows people to explore and compare nights to discover interesting patterns. To entice people to interact, we use proxemic interaction and animate the visualization in response to people's movements in front of the display. We deployed the visualization in a public space at an art-science festival. Initial findings suggest that the proxemic interaction aspect helps to draw people in and that the visualization generates interest from passersby, providing opportunities for science outreach.

Publication Type: Book Section
Additional Information: © 2016 The Authors. Permission to make digital or hard copies of part or all of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and the full citation on the first page. Copyrights for third-party components of this work must be honored. For all other uses, contact the Owner/Author.
Publisher Keywords: Information visualization; proxemic interaction; aurora borealis; interactive surfaces; large displays
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Computer Science
School of Science & Technology > Computer Science > giCentre
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