ART optical tracking in geographical research

The Institute of Earth and Environmental Science (University of Potsdam) developed a VR installation for research and teaching.

©University of Potsdam

General information

The 3D - Lab is a project of the University of Potsdam within PROGRESS, the Potsdam Research Cluster for Georisk Analysis, Environmental Change and Sustainability.
Since June 2011 a 3-sided virtual reality Cave has been operative at the Institute of Environmental and Earth Sciences at Potsdam University. This facility, which is open to industry and academic partners, is an integrative part of PROGRESS. Already during the initial planning and setup phase of the installation, the focus was on the usability for research and teaching. Key for usability are
(1) a fast and smooth data/model transfer from standard geological software (e.g. Visit, MOVE, PETREL, ArcGIS) to the 3-dimensional visualization in order to avoid time consuming data transformation to highly specified visualization software, and
(2) the capability to modify models directly within the visualization cluster by the user with the familiar standard software.

ART tracking solution

This is achieved with Techviz, a software that allows to run at a level above the mentioned standard applications in a Cave setting. The Cave comprises three 3.84 x 2.4 m screens (two side walls, one floor) with a resolution of 2 mm per pixel. The applied 3D stereo technology is Active Stereo for small groups (up to five persons) and Active Infitec for groups of up to ten persons. Users are tracked by 6 ARTTRACK and TRACKPACK cameras while using ART Head-, Flystick- and Finger-tracking devices.

Why ART?

  • ART tracking could fulfill the requirements for a fast and smooth data transfer
  • ART could provide the complete tracking system required such as:
    • our very accurate and reliable tracking cameras
    • our interaction device Flystick3
    • our Head- and Fingertracking devices


  • Barco 3 sided cave
  • 2 screens in 90°-angle (backprojection)
  • 1 floorprojection (frontprojection)
  • each 3.84m x 2.40m (width x height)
  • six ART cameras (ARTTRACK2 and TRACKPACK /C)
  • Input devices: Flystick3, Head- and Fingertracking