An overview of current and past projects that we work on and/or are involved in. Note that this table of contents is sorted alphabetically, while the detailed overview below is sorted based on the activity of the projects.

Projects with end-users


Dome animations2018

Network visualizations in support of a presentation

To support a presentation in the DOT Groningen we created a number of animations and images for projection in a dome cinema. The extra visuals - animations and images - were used to explain concepts with respects to networks, their properties and information propagation within them, plus some other fun things.



Fortissimo 2 HemoSphere2017 - now

Lab-on-a-chip prototyping

Within the Fortissimo 2 project SURFsara works with Electric Ant Lab on the realization of a virtual lab for microfluidic devices called Hemosphere. This virtual lab offers a fully virtual counterpart to physical testing. The simulation combines sophisticated numerical techniques and modern parallellization using GPUs to calculate accurate, validated cell-mechanics, blood flow and biochemical dynamics.

An important part of the virtual lab is performing interactive data analysis of simulation results. The basis for this analysis is the Jupyter Notebook system, which provides an easy-to-use and flexible interactive Python environment. Within the HemoSphere project SURFsara focuses on developing interactive rendering of 3D cell data and volumetric data within the Jupyter Notebook.



CompBioMed2017 - now

Visualization of red-blood cell simulations

CompBioMed is a European Commission H2020 funded Centre of Excellence focussed on the use and development of computational methods for biomedical applications. Project partners are (amongst others) SURFsara, the University of Amsterdam, BSC and University College London.

As part of project outreach activities a 6-minute animation has been produced that showcases the different research topics of the project partners. The movie shows the possibilities of using high performance computing (HPC) and computational biomedicine to delve deeper into the processes taking place within the body.



BirdVis2014 - now

Visualization tools for tracking bird migration behaviour

The University of Amsterdam (UvA) has developed a system for tracking bird movements and behaviour, called UvA-BiTS (for Bird Tracking System). Part of this system is a virtual lab for bird movement modelling. Data sources used in this system include GPS tracks and accelerometer data of individual birds, but also environmental data such as meteorological conditions (ECMWF) or sea currents (Delft3D).

Some of the tools in the virtual lab, specifically those for visualization, were developed by SURFsara: BirdView is a tool for visually inspecting and analyzing several data sources, such as GPS tracks of individual birds. Environmental data, such as precipitation and wind, can be shown in separate layers for correlation purposes.



Virtual supermarket2010 - now

A research tool for studying consumer food purchasing behaviour

In a virtual supermarket customers do virtual shopping in a digital environment. This makes it possible to research factors which influence purchasing behaviour, such as price, labelling and location of items. Participants receive a login for the supermarket which is linked automatically to a specific research term, such as a tax on soft drinks.

The virtual supermarket was conceived by VU University and built and further developed by SURFsara. It is a shared project of VU University and SURFsara. Since the first project in 2008 several other studies have been performed over the years, based on further developed versions of the supermarket software. The virtual supermarket has been used for research by VU University, the University of Oxford and the University of Auckland.



3DATAPRINT2017 - 2018

3D printing for scientific visualization

These days 3D printing has become relatively accessible, with a number of commercial parties providing 3D printing services at reasonable prices. However, printing scientific data can still be a challenge, for example, due to the amount of detail present in scientific models.

SURFsara has realised a number of 3D printed use case together with scientific users. A follow-up project, called 3DATAPRINT, extended this work on more use cases.



Fortissimo RheoCube2016

Visualizations for a virtual rheology lab in Jupyter Notebooks

RheoCube is a complete simulation environment, developed and marketed by Electric Ant Lab, for the design of complex fluids and exploration of their rheology and transport properties in a virtual environment. With RheoCube, material scientists get access to virtually every information about their materials and can expose them to situations that are difficult to realize in experiments.

An important part of the virtual lab is performing interactive data analysis of simulated rheology results. Within the Fortissimo RheoCube project our group worked on developing 3D visualization of simulation results (cell and volumetric data). As the post-processing and analysis framework used in RheoCube is based on Jupyter Notebooks the visualizations needed to be integrated witin these notebooks.



Genevis2015 - 2016

An interactive visualization tool for combining cross-discipline datasets within genetics

GeneVis is an interactive web-based visualization and exploration tool, that allows combining cross-discipline datasets within genetics.



FutureBase2014 - 2016

Supporting strategic forecasting using big data analysis

The FutureBase project aimed at supporting strategic forecasting using various sources of data (from small to big data) and was funded through the Hague Security Delta. Different data sets for two security-related themes - russia and drones - were collected, analyzed and visualized. Within the project we worked together with the SURFsara Scalable Data Analytics group for performing text-based analysis on a large collection of documents.



Twilight2011 - 2014

An interactive graph visualization tool

Twilight is an interactive graph visualization tool, originally developed for use on a multi-touch table.



Technology demonstrations & proof of concepts



A tongue-in-cheek interactive VR birthday card for the 30th anniversary of the SuperComputing conference. Based on the world-famous IAMSTERDAM sign at the Museumplein in Amsterdam (since removed) visitors of the SURF booth at SC18 could place a photo of themselves, some text, and a few images.



Network automation and orchestration in AR (at SC17)2017

A demonstration developed together with SURFnet, showing network orchestration in combination with an augmented reality interface using the Microsoft HoloLens. Shown at the Dutch Research Consortium booth at SuperComputing 2017.



OpenFOAM CFD visualization in VR2016 - 2017

A demo to show interactive visualization in Virtual Reality of an OpenFOAM CFD simulation result.



Remote visualization web-portal2016 - 2017

A development project to realize web-based remote visualization. Our current remote visualization setup is based on a separate remote desktop client (using VNC). This forces a user to install a client, plus the need to perform some manual steps in order to start a remote visualization session. By using a web portal for remote visualization a user can more easily start a session, while working fully in the browser (no separate client needed).

Work on the portal was paused, due to changes in the remote visualization setup at SURFsara, but might get restarted at some point.



Amsterdam Science Park and new data center in VR2016 - 2017

A virtual reality demonstration showing the Amsterdam Science Park with the new Digital Realty datacenter hosting the SURFsara e-Infrastructure. A user can walk around and jump between viewpoints (some high up on the roof). The outside of the datacenter can be hidden, showing the location of the e-Infrastructure within the building, also allowing one to visit the data floors.



Out-of-body experience (at SC16)2016

A demonstration developed together with SURFnet, shown on the SURF booth at SuperComputing 2016.

It involved capturing a person’s 3D model in the form of a point cloud, which could then be interyears_actively transformed by sending the point data over a network to processing nodes. The transformed data was then shown inside the VR headset, giving the person wearing it an out-of-body view of his/herself.

The technology used included 3D interyears_active virtual reality, data streaming and processing and network function virtualization. Interaction within the virtual world was performed using hand gestures.



Compositing in the Cloud2012

Real-time distributed compositing of live actors in a virtual 3D scene

Within the CineGrid Amsterdam project we worked with the Dutch Film Academy on a demonstration of real-time compositing of live actors in a virtual environment. The live scene was filmed in Amsterdam, while the composited results where shown and directed at Calit2 in San Diego.



Single Server 40 Gbit/s Disk to Network Streaming2010

At the GLIF 2010 meeting we showed what can be done with high-speed optical networks (40 Gbit/s) in combination with a high-resolution tiled panel display. We created a demonstration that streamed a semi-interyears_active visualization over a 40 Gbit/s light path from Amsterdam to CERN in Geneva.