The Burke Institute

Submitted by Jim Zaun on Thu, 07/09/2020 - 09:18
2001 intermittent — 2005
Collaborated with author/historian James Burke (BBC Connections TV series), the Univ. of California, the Univ. of Arizona and SUN Microsystems on a new paradigm for delivering science and technology education:
  • Produced the initial feasibility studies that made the Knowledge Web project possible.
  • Researched emerging technologies in multi-dimensional spaces and data visualizations.
  • Developed prototypes of the Knowledge Web in Struts and connected it to a 3-D Earth display in Flash MX.
  • Developed a 3-D demo of Burke's nested-spheres of history vision in Java3D (using Java 1.5 generics) in record time (2 months) for the ever-changing and experimental SUN 3-D LookingGlass desktop window system with full 3-D animation and advanced mathematical 3-D data visualizations (Fruchterman-Reingold algorithm mapped to non-Euclidean manifolds via Riemannian tensors). The demo was presented at the 2005 JavaOne conference by the SUN Looking Glass team.
    The LookingGlass 3-D plex demo that I developed is shown in the top-left panel. The other panels are from elsewhere to give a better idea of Burke's overall vision of multiple ways of accessing the K-Web.
  • In order to present Burke's nested-sphere vision in a more accessible way, I ported the LookingGlass 3-D demo to FlashMX for the web. This required the development of my own 3-D rendering engine in ActionScript 2. I enhanced the 3-D fly through demo from LookingGlass (in FlashMX with a "heads-up" UI and 3-D true-prospective) with a working journey display, breath-first search and video capabilities.

Copyright © 2005 by Zaun Consulting.

You don't really get the full 3-D effect without seeing the actual Flash demo, but now that Flash is dead, this is all that I can show. More details below.