The Epidemic Planet

The Epidemic Planet

The Epidemic Planet is a visualization application developed in the context of the GLEAMviz project, which has been specifically designed for public display and interactive use directly by the visitors. This exhibit demonstrates the epidemic modelling functionality by way of a prototypical pandemic and a select number of intervention scenarios that were modeled and simulated in the GLEAMviz system. A touch-screen based interface allows the visitor to select scenarios she wishes to compare, while a large screen displays the dynamic visualisation of the precomputed simulation results for the selected scenarios side-by-side, to enable the visual comparison.

Epidemic Planet viewer screenshot.

Sample of the side-by-side maps with the animated pandemic spread shown in the Epidemic Planet exhibit.

The current setup includes the following options to be chosen by the user on the touch-screen:

  • the geographic origin for the disease – La Gloria, Mexico, where the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic originated, or a major European city like London, UK, or a less connected location like the Isles of Scilly, UK;
  • wether to start the pandemic during summer or during winter, to explore seasonality dependent effects;
  • the contagiousness of the disease, mild or severe (which corresponds to different values of the transmission of the virus);
  • whether to apply travel restrictions or not, reducing the travel flows of the global airline transportation system by a 75% factor;
  • whether to consider a worldwide vaccination campaign or not and, if yes, whether to start it earlier or later.
Epidemic Planet controller screenshot.

The touch-screen interface of the Epidemic Planet exhibit. The visitors can use this interface to select the epidemic scenarios to compare.

The Epidemic Planet represents a simplified and interactive way of access to the sophisticate modeling framework developed within the GLEAMviz research. It is meant to facilitate the rapid adoption of this powerful scenario evaluation and training tool by a wide audience.

Here is a list of the public appearances of the Epidemic Planet:

  • INFECTIOUS: STAY AWAY, Science Gallery, Dublin, April-July 2009;
  • International Science Festival, Edinburgh, U.K., April 2010;
  • Science beyond Fiction: An Excursion into Future and Emerging Technologies, European Parliament, Strasbourg, France, April 2010;
  • CosmoCaixa Mòbil Tecnorevolución, Spain, September 2010;
  • International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis (SC10), New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, November 2010.
  • CosmoCaixa Barcelona, March 2012 – February 2013
  • Planetarium of Turin, Museum of Astronomy and Space, Exhibit ‘La fine del mondo. Consigli per il dopo’, 25 May – 10 November 2013.
  • Beautiful Science exhibition, The British Library, London, 20 February – 26 May 2014

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