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Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

A Look Inside Visualization Software Tools

3D-DOCTOR
Photo courtesy of Able Software Corp.
3D-DOCTOR extracts information from CT or MRI images using image segmentation and creates 3-D mesh models for analysis.
Ted Wu, Andrew Sharpe and Bill Panepinto
Ted Wu, Andrew Sharpe and Bill Panepinto
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By Barry Mazor

Following the directions that visualization has taken in recent years -- and even the evolution of what is meant by that term -- is an engaging story. Tools once used expressly for high-end medical and scientific applications have spread to industry and government. While some doubted that visualizations would find uses in consumer applications, those doubters were proved wrong when developers took a side-trip that led to the delivery of the Web browser. Moves towards 3-D, volumetric information extraction, real-time graphic generation and real-time collaboration have all occurred and it does not appear that that pace will slow.

NEXT ADVANCEMENT DRIVERS
Advanced Imaging: What applications or market areas are driving next-step visualization capability and from what new capability needs?

Ted Wu, Able Software: 3-D medical imaging applications that provide assistance to surgery and treatment and quantitative ways for diagnosis.

Andrew Sharpe, IO Industries: In real-time imaging systems, real-time integrated visualization of the data collected from video cameras and other devices is now a requirement for many applications. Military and civilian aerial imaging applications, for example, commonly use a single computer system for data collection from visible and infrared video cameras, GPS receivers, altimeters and inertial navigation instruments. The challenge for the application software designer is to present the information in a cohesive manner, improving the real-time decision-making ability of the system operator.

Bill Panepinto, ACUITIV Software: I really think the next step in visualization capabilities is the ability to handle larger models, more effectively visualize transient data sets and collaborate and design in a virtual environment.

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