End Point Liquid Galaxy Projects at Google I/O 2013
By Dave Jenkins
May 23, 2013
This last week End Point participated in the Google I/O conference for the third year in a row. As the lead agency for Liquid Galaxy development and deployment, our engineers were active in the development efforts for the two Liquid Galaxy systems that were showcased at the conference this year.
We sent two of our rock stars to the show, Kiel and Matt. This year both Liquid Galaxies used Google Maps API functionality in the browser rather than the stand-alone Google Earth app:
Treadmill-driven Google Trekker: Working with Sparks Online, this showed a treadmill connected to the Google Trekker Trails panoramic imagery. Walking on the treadmill moves the view forward through the Bright Angel Trail in Grand Canyon. The tricky part being the curves in the trail, especially switchbacks: with no mouse to adjust the view, how to keep the view on the path when the input (the movement of the treadmill) was just “straight forward”? Our engineer, Kiel, used functions around Maps API data to automatically calculate the “closest frame” that would be next in line, and then force-feeds it to the Trail View, so “forward” is always centered on the path, no matter if the next frame is actually five to ten degrees (or in the case of the switchbacks, up to 150 degrees) left or right of center.
WebGL Skydiving Game: In support of the creative agency Instrument, Matt provided expert consulting leading up to the show on the Liquid-Galaxy-enabling of the WebGL game demo Instrument developed that allows people to “skydive” down thru a series of rings suspended in mid-air. Maybe it’s just better to show the game:
End Point’s full support included equipment rental to Instrument for development, developing and configuring the new Liquid Galaxy used in the Skydiving game, setting up the Liquid Galaxies at the show, onsite support, and repacking of the systems at the conclusion of the conference. We make things as turnkey as possible.
Kiel said the following: “Google I/O is getting bigger, more interesting, and more packed every year. The GLASS track was a lot of fun”. Matt added “Google is as committed as ever to user experience, and they happily share all of their tricks with developers year after year.”
Matt and Kiel appreciated the hands-on support of Andreu Ibàñez, from End Point’s partner, Ponent 2002, in the physical setup of the Liquid Galaxies we installed at the show and his sharing in the staffing of the skydiving exhibit.
Feedback from show attendees was overwhelmingly positive, the whole Google Maps area drawing quite a crowd to take part in each experience.
End Point welcomes opportunities to work with creative agencies and event planners to build unique and compelling visualization experiences that utilize the Liquid Galaxy platform. Please contact us if you’ve got an idea. Also, see our Liquid Galaxy website to see some of the many uses for the system.