The giant ball of the Earth is hanging in space, its blue and white colors in mesmerizing contrast with the deep dark background occasionally sprinkled with the distant light of the billion stars within our Milky Way galaxy. Hands lift up spontaneously yearning to touch our home planet encountering only empty space. It's a beautiful illusion, the ultimate immersive experience. It's the Infoversum!
June 17th marked the opening of the digital 3D fulldome theater Infoversum in the vibrant city of Groningen. The first theater of its kind in the Netherlands, the Infoversum was inaugurated by the King's commissioner Max van den Berg and the mayor of Groningen Ruud Vreeman. More than 200 guests, among whom representatives of the prime minister, the founders, Groningen municipality and the province of Groningen, enjoyed a dynamic 3D program which included a fly thought the city of Groningen, the award winning international production "To Space and Back" and an interactive live planetarium show. The experiences were mostly described as 'spectacular', 'overwhelming' and 'powerful'. The Infoversum is now open to the general public offering an attractive collection of 2D and 3D movies, exhibitions, special program catering to international and German visitors or residents of Groningen, and much more.
The idea for the Infoversum was born from the imagination of Edwin Valentijn, a professor of astromony and information technology from the Kapteyn Institute at the RUG and coordinator of the Target project. Valentijn wanted to use the power of modern ICT and visualization technology to create a new medium for science outreach and a platform where traditional boundaries between science, art and entertainment slowly dissolve to create inspiring new forms of science communication. Behind the immersive visualizations in the dome, one can find a powerful set of computing hardware and algorithms that manipulate large data sets to form the visual spectacle that surrounds us in the dome. In effect, the Infoversum is about Big Data - finding novel and more efficient ways to manipulate it while at the same time designing better and more intuitive techniques to visualize it. The Target project was set out to conduct research and development in the management and visualization of Big Data and 5 years down the line, the Infoversum has become its most successful spin-off project. Convinced that the Infoversum will have a strong social and ecomonic impact, the project was backed up financially by the University of Groningen, the Groningen municipality and GasTerra. After years of hard work, yesterday the founding fathers of the Infoversum opened its doors to Groningen, the Netherlands and the rest of the world. Welcome, sit down and enjoy the show.
Official press release for the opening of the Infoversum
Official website www.infoversum.nl
Article in the university UK newspaper
Article in the nu.nl
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