Benthos: Project Description


“Benthos,” proposes to explore and generate full-dome visualisations of volumetric and multidimensional datasets derived from Australian Antarctic Division and international oceanographic and marine science programmes.

Enormous amounts of data have been generated during the International Polar Year (IPY) during the extensive international CAML (Census of Antarctic Marine Life) and ongoing marine research activities by the AAD. These may include datasets measuring physical features as ocean currents, temperature gradients, thermo-haline cycles as well as ecological features such as marine biodiversity; benthic ecology (deep ocean; continental shelf; shoreline) and so forth. Part of the Synapse proposal involves identification of suitable datasets for volumetric and three-dimensional visualisation.

Volumetric visualisation in a fulldome format explores both aesthetic and empirical features of datasets, creating a fertile intersection of the sciences and arts. Within the field of contemporary media arts practice little has been done with fulldome data visualisation, however, there is an emergent field of data-arts, which draws upon scientific datasets to explore them in new and insightful ways – the viewer’s immersion in a visualised dataset reveals not only the inherent beauty of unseen structures but also elicits an understanding of complex connections between parameters that may not have been revealed via conventional approaches. The artist and WASP are explicitly experienced in this field and the proposed programme would go a long way towards extending and innovating in this field.


Dr Peter Morse, Visualisation Consultant and Media Artist.

Paul Bourke, Senior Visualisation Research Fellow at the Western Australian Supercomputer Program (WASP, University of Western Australia)

Dr Martin Riddle, Senior Principal Research Scientist (Programme Leader, Environmental Protection and Change), Australian Antarctic Division.

Dr Steve Nicols, Senior Research Scientist (Program Leader, Southern Ocean Ecosystems), Australian Antarctic Division.

Dr Ben Raymond, Data Mining & Visualisation, Australian Antarctic Division.