An Exploration of General-Use Immersive Visualization Applications

Virtual reality (VR) has matured into a widely adopted computing platform with increasingly affordable hardware and dedicated application development in fields such as gaming, art, entertainment, and education. With the concurrent growth and availability of digital data, VR stands as a possible medium for understanding complex information with new modes of insight and novel methods of presentation through immersive data visualization. As part of the NCSU Libraries support of visualization and immersive technologies several colleagues and I have been investigating the current landscape of general-use immersive visualization technologies (i.e., technologies that are not domain specific or require specialized hardware or software and are available for use on personal devices) to evaluate existing software applications and determine the viability of visualization in a VR environment. Through our exploration we have identified some promising platforms and gleaned a few insights about this niche, but growing, field of VR and the possible applications and services the Libraries can provide around this emerging visualization tool.

Visualization Librarian Census

Six years ago, almost to the day, I joined Duke University Libraries as their first Data Visualization Coordinator. At the time, it was unusual for libraries to be able to offer targeted support for data visualization, especially with a dedicated, full-time position. In the past six years, though, I’ve seen a huge rise in the number and variety of visualization-related positions at libraries. It’s been a dream of mine to build a more intentional community around data visualization in libraries.


Hi everyone! Welcome to the data blog of the Triangle Research Libraries Network, TRLN. This blog is intended to be a place where professionals who work with data in TRLN institutions and beyond can share about their data-related projects.

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