IDEALvr Word Cloud: IDEAL Data Visualization using Virtual Reality
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This report (including code) provides an explanation of the implementation of the IDEALvr application and an analysis of the methodology to create the system. The methods of implementation include 3D virtualization onto an Android application using the game engine Unity and Google Cardboard 3D virtualizer. The methods of analysis include gathering metadata from the IDEAL database and creating new methods of analysis of pre-collected datasets. Other analysis includes understanding the different limitations and advantages of using Google Cardboard and Android to develop the user experience. Results of the analysis show that the data can be interpreted more interactively using virtual reality. Our clients Mohammed Magdy and Dr. Edward A. Fox served as helpful resources in creating the requirements for this project and providing feedback on a weekly basis to change or continue on development paths. The requirements were outlined as (1) visualize the IDEAL collections in a meaningful way, (2) create a working interface for exploring the collections, and (3) create an application that allows users to draw conclusions from IDEAL data. The goal of this project was to provide an easy to use interface that allows researchers to visualize collections in a way that increases understanding and allows them to draw conclusions from the data without having to read through massive collections of tweets. We created a hierarchical structure that allows users to filter collections by categories. We developed a frequent word analyzer to parse through the collections and generate a list of the most frequent words in a collection which is also visualized in the project. The virtual reality user interface allows for full immersion and interaction with as many IDEAL collections as the user desires. The IDEALvr project was created with Unity and developed to work on Android devices that are supported by Google Cardboard. Work on a web application was attempted and issues are documented in the included files. Future work and plans are also included in the attached reports. Overall, the IDEALvr project was very successful. It provides a way to visualize IDEAL collections in a way that allows for meaningful analysis and conclusions to be made.