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Governmental Visualisation > VERDE

The VERDE or Visualising Energy Resources Dynamically on Earth project, was set-up by the American Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 2008. Its purpose is to use mixed reality systems, to monitor real-time status of a national power grid.

VERDE works with several layers. At its base, a Google Earth map of the country. Atop that, a layer detailing the real-time status of the power grid, as taken from individual power stations and sensors aboard pylons, monitoring throughput.

On top of that layer, a third layer is placed, of real-time data from the Met. Office.

The concept is simple and elegant enough to lead most to wonder why this was not implemented prior to 2008, however, that this set-up is now being used by government agencies as a monitoring tool for energy consumption and disaster recovery, can be considered a victory for the sphere of graphical visualisation.

"With this tool we are able to monitor individual transmission lines and place the system as a whole in the context of potential impact on population, transportation and critical infrastructures," said Mallikarjun Shankar of ORNL's Computational Sciences and Engineering Division in a release.

VERDE is one of a slowly but steadily increasing number of physical-world real-time visualisation tools that are building on the ability to have a base layer of a 2D or 3D representation of the physical world. On top of that, overlay virtual data in separate layers, each matched to the physical locations on the bottom layer. Advanced datasets can then be pulled out visually.

For example, using VERDE. Power lines are breaking in a small area; failing one after another, with no apparent case. A quick look at VERDE's weather layer reveals a twister in the area bisecting those power lines. Case solved, and the repair crews can be dispatched immediately, with full knowledge of what needs doing. Saves time saves money.

Further Reading

Visualizing Energy Resources Dynamically on Earth (PDF)

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