FAQ - Liquid Galaxy project community site


(Crafted by GCI 2018 students based on contents from the internet)
What is the Liquid Galaxy ? 
Liquid Galaxy is a remarkable panoramic system that is tremendously compelling. It started off as a Google 20% project to run Google Earth across a small cluster of PC's and it has grown from there. Liquid Galaxy hardware consists of one or more computers driving multiple displays. Liquid Galaxy applications have been developed using a master/slave architecture. The view orientation of each slave display is configured in reference to the view of the master display. Navigation on the system is done from the master instance and the location on the master is broadcast to the slaves over UDP. The slave instances, knowing their own locations in reference to the master, then change their views accordingly. The Liquid Galaxy Project, while making use of Google Earth software, does not develop the Google Earth code-base itself. Google Earth is not open source software, although it is free (as in beer). Instead, the Liquid Galaxy Project works on extending the Liquid Galaxy system with open source software both improving its administration and enabling open source applications, so that content of various types can be displayed in the immersive panoramic environment.

What’s the difference between a Liquid Galaxy and a video wall?
A simple video wall is a 2-dimensional plane stretched across multiple screens. This causes two problems: the image is stretched so resolution drops, and because the image is only 2- dimensional, it gets distorted when the screens are arranged in an immersive arc around the viewer. The Liquid Galaxy solves both of these issues by sending a separate and complete video signal to each screen, and then coordinating the camera view among all screens. This means that we can show full resolution on each screen. It also means that we can adjust the camera angle in a 3D environment to match the physical orientation of each screen in the arc. Thus, there is no distortion when seeing 3D objects like Unity games, Google Earth, or 360° video

Why get a Liquid Galaxy and not just use a VR headset? Liquid Galaxy is a shared immersive environment, fantastic for group presentations. The VR headset is an excellent way for one individual to explore a 3D virtual environment, but it is widely recognized that it doesn’t work with groups: not everyone will strap on the headsets, and even then, it’s almost impossible to lead a group through a presentation with everyone wearing goggles: they don’t pay attention, they don’t follow along. The Liquid Galaxy provides a superior immersive experience with no need of wearing headsets, where everyone can follow the presenter in a shared viewing environment.

What type of content do the Liquid Galaxy display? Liquid Galaxy can include images, videos, 3D models (including integrations with Unity 3D and Sketchfab), fly-tos, 360° panoramic images/videos, live webpages, and other sorts of overlays.
What content is most popular to display on the system?
Most of our customers utilize the Liquid Galaxy to show presentations that combine geographic data, photos, and videos. Real estate brokerages use the Liquid Galaxy to showcase their properties. Museums and aquariums leverage the incredible worldwide 360° photo content from Google Street View.

How does the system work?
The Liquid Galaxy runs on a group of servers and displays. Users can navigate and control the system 6-axis navigation controller and a Android or Chrome OS tablet running our Liquid Galaxy Controller application. Other input methods are available, such as Leap Motion, Kinect, and a few more. The Liquid Galaxy is based on Ubuntu, a popular Linux distribution, and many of the installed open source applications come from its packages. Some Python modules are installed with Python’s own packaging system. Notable non-open source software includes Google Earth, Google Chrome, and proprietary drivers from Nvidia and Intel.

Is there any company providing commercial services for the Liquid Galaxy?
End Point Corporation,  New York, USA, is the major and professional provider of professional services around Liquid Galaxy, contact them at www.endpoint.com for any need. Also End Point has been for years a major contributor to the Liquid Galaxy project.

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