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 IU Trident Indiana University

Visualization After Dark: Snow, Ice, and Olympic Gold

Project Leads: Tassie Gniady & Eric Wernert, Visualization and Analytics, UITS Research Technologies 

Advanced Visualization Lab, UITS Research Technologies - event made possible by Science on a Sphere, IT-Wall, and IQ-Table

Visitors at the Viz After Dark event

Figure 1. Visitors to IU’s Cyberinfrastructure Building observe interpreted and visualized datasets of the 2014 Winter Olympics via Science on a Sphere technology. 

At Visualization After Dark on February 20, visitors experienced the 2014 Winter Olympics held in Sochi, Russia, as a series of interpreted and visualized datasets on the Science on a Sphere technology. Hosted by the Advanced Visualization Lab, the February 20, 2014 event broadened some 50 visitor’s appreciation of the global reach of the Winter Olympic Games as they have unfolded over their 90-year history. The technology conveyed the worldwide effects of the 2013-14 winter, which has resulted in polar vortices in the United States and warmer than usual conditions on the other side of the globe.  

Residents of Bloomington and environs experienced several polar vortices this winter with extreme low temperatures and large amounts of snow. At the same time, Russia experienced once of its warmest winters on record. At the intersection of these climate anomalies, the 2014 Winter Olympics were held in Sochi, Russia. At the Visualization After Dark event, visitors saw the results of these temperature anomalies first hand, and understood the truly global nature of the Winter Olympic Games. The event demonstrated the ability of IU’s Science on a Sphere Technology to assess and meaningfully present all kinds of data.

This event was hosted by the Advanced Visualization Lab as part of Research Technology’s community outreach efforts. At the After Dark series of events, the local community experiences visualizations of special relevance that focus on local issues. 


IU’s Advanced Visualization Lab is funded through the Office of the Vice President for Information Technology; is a unit of UITS Research Technologies; and is affiliated with the Pervasive Technology Institute. For questions about this project or to request a consultation, please contact vishelp@iu.edu.