Scalable City


Scalable City creates an urban/suburban/rural environment via a data visualization pipeline. The central manifestation of this project is an interactive virtual environment driven by a custom game engine written in C++. Each major component of the environment is created by a process where real-world data are subjected to algorithmic transformations before being redeployed as elements of a new urban condition.

This work is the vision of Sheldon Brown, developed by the Experimental Game Lab and CHMPR under his direction, with support from IBM, Intel, the NSF, CRCA, and Calit2 among others.


As the lead developer for this project, I’ve had a hand in most all of the subsystems. I’ve utilized shaders, computational geometry processes, computer vision techniques, and designed a range of custom algorithms to generate dynamic assets in the virtual world. I’ve made the gameplay concepts a reality and targeted a range of display technologies for the project (stereoscopic hardware/software, cave environments, multi-monitor display walls). Additionally, I’ve optimized graphics, networking and 3D audio solutions to maintain high real-time performance.

I’ve supported a range of derivative projects that utilize the underlying game engine, including visual analytics of user behavior, disaster visualizations (Gulf Oil Spill), and machinima. I also enjoy supervising and mentoring the 2-3 talented students that support this project every year.