Large-scale panoramic displays designed for collaboration can change users’ perspective and reframe and amplify digital content in a shared pixel space. Many universities have implemented large-scale displays, but they are often in areas that restrict access to the equipment and require staff mediation for use. Additionally, dedicated staff may be required to program content for the walls, limiting the variety of content displayed. This presentation covers efforts at the libraries at Georgia State University and the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill to implement immersive display technologies that allow unmediated patron access and reduce the amount of staff time required to support the technologies. Georgia State University Library’s newly-opened CURVE: Collaborative University Research & Visualization Environment features the latest visualization technologies, including an immersive, 24-foot-wide “interactWall” for up-close interaction and engagement with digital content. While much of the planning for CURVE focused on the hardware, the overall design was influenced by the new types of digital scholars and learners who will be using this technology. UNC Chapel Hill’s Research Hub supports technology-enabled, interdisciplinary research, providing consulting, software, and equipment for data visualization, data management, GIS services, makerspaces, and digital humanities. The Hub features the Liquid Galaxy, a large display used to visualize geospatial data. Existing staff strengths, campus interest in geospatial technologies, and cost considerations drove UNC’s decision to purchase this system. Topics in this presentation include a review of the planning process, funding, and design thinking that went into building these systems and spaces, and a discussion of next steps such as staffing needs, training, on-going assessment. Examples of student and faculty projects will be used to illustrate points throughout.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/bryan_sinclair/13/