5 End User Applications

5 End User Applications

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>)

Collaborative applications are built in the same way as any other application. The main difference lies in the fact that collaborative applications include a number of collaborative modules.

When you build the Control Panel for the application the following widgets must be accessible, otherwise the application cannot be run in a collaborative manner: COVISAServer Machine, COVISAServer Port and Start. For collaborative sessions it is also useful to give access to the following widgets: Username, Conference List and Group Join/Find.

Just before saving the application you must change the mode on the MServer module from Set mode to "On-The-Fly" to Set mode to "Application", otherwise the COVISA Server will not let the collaborative modules in the application connect to it and you will not be able to run the application in collaboration with others. For more information you are referred to the description of the Mserver module.

You may be able to obtain more information on building collaborative applications at the IRIS Explorer Centre of Excellence or IECOE web site, as the information at this site may be updated from time to time.

5.1 Example Collaborative Applications

5.1.1 Medical Example

This application is designed as an example of how to construct a collaborative visualization tool using IRIS Explorer. It is built around a medical scenario where two specialists might wish to collaborate over a patient's data. This application is designed to read volumes of computed tomography (CT) and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) data that has been stored as two 3D Lattices. It visualizes the data one slice at a time (from each volume) and displays them either side by side or combined as a 3D projection in the Render window. For this to be of value, the data volumes must have been pre-registered. Registration is the process of applying a transformation matrix (which needs to be calculated) to one set of scan data to transform it in 3D space to match another.

In this application CT data is referred to as Bone data and SPECT data is referred to as Blood data. The data sets that come with this example have been pre-registered.

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 the description for the Blood/Bone Source widgets in the Help file for the application). 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:


for Bone (CT) and Blood (SPECT) data, respectively, where $EXPLORERHOME is the root directory 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. Once a session is joined (by pressing the Join Collaboration button) the data must be passed into the session by re-reading it. This is done by placing the cursor in the text slot with the file name and pressing <Enter>.

Alternatively, the application can be run by a single user by running the Medical_blood application and inserting the filename for the bone data in the Bone Data text slot. The Bone Source should then be set to local.

5.1.2 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 (*).

5.1.3 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.