Web-Based Data Visualization with 3D Portrayals for Communications Applications

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Virginia Tech

The modern web has evolved into a highly capable software platform, which enables near-native performance, while offering installation-free cross-platform applications with a uniform user base and rapid update deployment. SVG, WebGL, and HTML5 Canvas, along with various higher-level JavaScript frameworks allow web applications to drive both 2D and 3D visualization. These technologies allow developing novel visualization applications, which can be applied in the communication domain to geospatially map service quality, and to provide tools research and education in wireless communication. We present two such web applications GeoSpy and CORNET3D.

GeoSpy provides 2D and 3D visualization of geospatial data on the web. The application is primarily focused on leveraging 3D portrayals to increase the number of broadband Quality of Service (QoS) metrics, which can be attached to a single point on a map. Additionally, GeoSpy has proven to be a flexible visualization platform by giving the user a high level of customization over HTTP API data. This allows GeoSpy to venture beyond broadband mapping, and provide 3D portrayals of any well-formatted geospatial JSON API.

Research of Software Defined Radio (SDR) and Dynamic Spectrum Access (DSA) can be used to significantly improve the wireless QoS. CORNET3D provides a 3D view of the Virginia Tech CORNET SDR testbed with information on which nodes and radios are operational. The application can also display 2D and 3D plots of the spectrum, which is sensed by the radios in real time. The data is sent to the client over a WebSocket connection to enable low latency, compared to conventional HTTP. CORNET3D can teach students about strategies for optimal use of spectrum resources through a game---"by providing them with real-time scoring based on their choices for radio transmission parameters. CORNET3D has demonstrated that the not only can web applications provide rich portrayals of real-time sensor data, but can also serve as a 3D "serious game" platform.

Computer Graphics, Web Applications, HTML5, WebGL, WebSockets, Dynamic Spectrum Access, Broadband Mapping