T-Vision (Terravision)

With T-Vision, ART+COM tries to establish a virtual representation of the whole earth as a general interface to organize, to access and to visualize any kind of information. The virtual representation of the earth is generated out of high resolution 2D satellite images and 3D altitute data.

T-Vision specific concept of seamless links between different levels of detail allows the continuous zooming from a global view down to recognizable features of only a few centimeters in size. On the virtual globe any kind of geographically related data can be visually incorporated.

Because of the impossibility of locally storing and constantly updating all the high resolution data necessary for such visualisation application, the Terravision project is based on the concept of a transparent and world-wide ATM-broadband networked data bank. By approaching a geographical region the system automatically establishes an ATM connection to the server which provides the most up to date and highest resolution data required for the current field of view. This data is integrated unobtrousively in the users system on the fly.

For the navigation on the virtual globe a special T-Vision user interface in form of a large real globe was developed. With this the user has full control over which information to view, at what time and at which location.

T-Vision is an example of information spatialization, and it shows impressively the power of the paradigm of spatial access to information. It is an interesting research topic to figure out the principles which allow to generalize this from geographical structures to arbitrarily organized information and knowledge.

T-Vision is a broadband application research project realized by ART+COM, Berlin, financed by DeTeBerkom, Berlin and supported by Weathernews, Tokyo.


Content and event management: Gerd Grueneis
Project management: Steffen Meschkat
Interface and Concepts: Joachim Sauter
Software Architecture: Axel Schmidt
Other Contributors: Andreas Bogk, Axel Kilian, Ulli Lipka, Dirk Luesebrink, Pavel Mayer, Dirk Naepel, Dieter Sachse

ART+COM is an interdisciplinary group concerned with the integration of computer technology, communication and design.

ART+COM was founded in 1988 as a centre for computer aided design and communication, with the intention to promote co-operation between science, design and education. Since 1988 ART+COM has established itself as a melting pot for new ideas and new technologies, where specialists from the Arts, from Science and from industry come together to combine their ideas and goals. The method of working at ART+COM is characterized an openness towards new projects and novel approaches, the readiness to question old patterns and ways of thinking and the ability to speed up complex development processes.

At ART+COM we have succeeded in creating a work environment equipped with cutting edge technology where scientists, artists, designers and information technologists strive towards the common goal of opening up new dimensions of visualisation and communication. A team of 30 to 40 widely skilled professionals enable ART+COM to provide an extensive range of services.

Ruling the information age the work of ART+COM has received a lot of attention at many major computer graphic conferences (siggraph, imagina ...) and has been awarded with important prizes in the field of computer art (ars electronica), IMF Award ...