Jason Coposky and Warren Ginn from RENCI Europa delivered UNC-Charlotte’s Multi-touch Table to the Charlotte Visualization Center last week. Dubbed the Urbanization Explorer Touch Table, the device’s first role will be to display the Urban Growth Model, developed by the Center for Applied Geographic Information Science (CAGIS) and UNC-Charlotte’s Urban Institute. By accessing historical patterns of growth in the region, this application will provide forecasts on how much growth is expected to take place based on these historical patterns. Using satellite imagery for the 24-county region around Mecklenburg, for four time periods: 1976, 1985, 1996 and 2006, the Urban Growth Model tracks the advance of impervious surfaces, a key indicator of development, in expansion across the area since 1976, and estimates the extent of urbanization through 2030. With interfaces developed by collaborators at the Charlotte Visualization Center, multiple users will be able to select areas of interest, zoom, pan, and navigate the colorful, large-format maps using only their fingertips and on-screen digital tools.
First introduced at North Carolina State University’s Institute for Emerging Issues annual forum this past Februrary, this multi-touch table represents the next leap in performance in touch tracking. As opposed to the previous Direct Illumination (DI) technique employed in the original table, this table employs Diffused Surface Illumination (DSI). By employing a sheet of Cyro Acrylite EndLighten with polished edges and LED Edge-View Ribbon Flex from Environmental Lights, we’ve been able to distribute the IR illumination more evenly.
For the projection surface we’re using a thin (3mm) sheet of Acrylite RP 7D513 rear projection acrylic. This works out well since the thn sheet protects the more expensive Endlighten material and the projection surface has a nice touch.