Published on Thursday, 17 October 2013


Vizrt and Lockheed Martin Work on Big Data Visualization Tools

Vizrt has collaborated with Lockheed Martin to develop a system that visualizes big data in an interactive platform called the Multi-Touch Executive Dashboard, MED. To graphically visualize big data, MED combines Lockheed Martin’s real-time data asset management software, Microsoft’s Perceptive Pixel displays, and Vizrt’s Viz Artist for 3D modeling, animation and graphics creation, and Viz Engine for real-time 3D graphics visualization and rendering at resolutions up to 4K. 

Lockheed Martin is a security and aerospace company engaged in research for system design, development, manufacture and integration. The first large-scale big data visualization implemented from their Vizrt collaboration is MED-E, a dashboard specializing in Energy, designed to graphically illustrate layers of high-volume information about the status of energy resources, distribution and supply. For example, WindOptimizer is a MED-E suite of cloud-based services distributing real-time sensor data, including weather forecast prediction and wind energy supplies, so that wind farms, power companies and other energy companies can manage wind resources more cost-efficiently.  

Vizrt R&D teams in Europe and designers and support in the United States worked with Lockheed Martin to design a system that produces data visualization to a high standard but at the same time remains flexible in its application so that several different industries can use the product, customising it for their specific purposes.  

For Vizrt, developing the MED-E platform meant pushing Viz Artist and Viz Engine as a live data harvester and interactive visualization platform. Petter Ole Jakobsen, Vizrt’s CTO in Bergen, Norway said, “For MED-E, we’re taking multiple silos of data sources and coalescing them into one, scalable, big picture visualization representing all these different data layers. We are also doing this live when live data is available.” 


The MED platform interface allows multiple users to select icons that bring up multiple graphics and visual elements that they can then manipulate and interact with on Perceptive Pixel’s 82-inch LCD display. Viz Artist was chosen for use in the MED and MED-E visualization platforms because of the data gathering tools and plugins in its 64-bit environment. The plugins allow designers to integrate custom logic into a scene fairly easily, creating interactive elements such as click buttons or support for touchscreens. Furthermore, as a rendering engine, Viz Engine is used as a graphics and video layer for applications that need high-fidelity, low latency content and interactivity.

“The MED platform can also be adapted to diverse vertical markets such as medical imaging, military defense, energy exploration, geo-intelligence and business information or intelligence systems and supply chain analytics - where timely decisions have to be based on an understanding of relevant big data,” said Matt Kier, principal project engineer for Lockheed Martin.