Research Collaboration & Visualization

Visualization is applying techniques to “see” your data, including graphs, 2D and 3D modeling, etc. Visualization may be possible with software you now use, or you may need special tools such as 3D TVs or special 3D projectors, or specialized software.

We might be able to provide special tools to help you with your visualization needs.

Getting Started

To fully understand and make use of the most appropriate visualization tools for your research needs, start by contacting Research Computing at the U of S to discuss your options and eligibility.

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Visualization Tools

3D Visualization

Data that can be grouped into three dimensions can be problematic to view. The problems involved in the representation include how to see data that is "behind" or "inside" other data. Visualisation packages that permit the user to make some regions transparent allow this to be less of a problem, though a simpler technique would be to allow the data region to be "sliced."

As well, the visualisation of three dimensions in the real world is enhanced by binocular vision. In the visualisation world, this is replaced by stereo-optical projection - separating the images that each eye sees to provide the perception of depth.  ICT Research Computing can provide you access to the stereo viewing capabilities of the WestGrid Collaboration and Visualisation Facility (WGCVF) and 3D TV.

2D Visualization

Without attempting to represent data stereo-optically, there are many common ways to represent data. A graph with x and y axes is a visual representation of data. Other visualization techniques include surface maps, contour plots, colour-coded “heat” maps, etc.  Data understanding can be facilitated further with animated or interactive visualization tools.

Visualization Software

Many common software packages have components to represent data visually:

Software available for demonstration at the WestGrid Collaboration and Visualization Facility:


Data that can be mapped with spatial co-ordinates, can be visualised through geographical information systems (GIS). It is possible to use three dimensional maps that show elevation, and include surface features, or imagery. The Spatial Initiative, a service in partnership with ICT research computing, has the expertise to help you with this.


Visualizations can be effective in simplifying large textual databases. These are important in the humanities, and the Digital Research Centre (DRC) in the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts has a great deal of experience with a number of techniques.

Other Conferencing and Collaboration Services


Training Services

Training Services offers introductory courses on ArcGIS.

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