Oculus Info Inc.: Solving Complex Geospatial Challenges through Visualization

Curtis Garton, Director & Senior Product Manager
Geographical Information Systems (GIS) of today have grown considerably from the once niche and technical offerings of the past. Holding experience in 3D design, Curtis Garton, Director and Senior Product Manager at Oculus Info, is a man who clearly understands this transformation. “Unlike early GIS systems, today’s GIS tools and services are designed for non-specialists, giving almost anyone the opportunity to use them,” he says.

Along with the general IT industry, the GIS space has “big data” growing pains, which represent opportunities for company such as Oculus to innovate and deliver new ways of helping their clients visualize and analyze large volumes of location rich data. Dealing with terabytes of geographical data presents many challenges for organizations today, many of which are visualization and analysis related. With customers in the U.S., Europe and Canada, Oculus Info answers these challenges through designing and developing innovative business visualization solutions. Founded in 2001, Oculus Info works on big data projects ranging from visualizing massive amounts of geolocated social media data to intuitive operations dashboards with easy to use analytical capabilities for client-company executives.

Oculus as a company is primarily a research and development organization, which puts it in the unique position of being able to devote the majority of our resources towards researching new methods of solving complex geospatial challenges through visualization. They then take what they have learned through this research and use it to drive their COTS products forward, which provide a broad set of users with powerful visualization and analysis tools.

One of the company’s most recognized products, GeoTime is a software application for visual analysis and presentation of geo-temporal data. The product suite of Oculus also includes Influent, a web based application for visually and interactively following transaction flow; Aperture tiles, a tile-based visual analytics that provides browser-based interactive visualization of billions of data points leveraging big data, and nSpace, a visual analytics system for document discovery and visual sense making.
Oculus differentiates itself with their capability to solve complex geospatial challenges through visualization by putting its resources towards researching new and innovative methods for solving data problems. “Most of our GIS projects are delivered via web services to deliver results to users fast. This has paid big dividends in terms of efficiency and flexibility,” says Garton, “As for now, we are most excited about the growing momentum behind WebGL and the performance capabilities that it will unlock, as it is essential for the proliferation of 3D visualization tools across both the web and handheld devices.”

Having worked with clients ranging from local law enforcement entities to federal government agencies, Oculus’ efficiency can be well traced from the story of a Philadelphia homicide trial, where the company’s product GeoTime helped a small police agency in creating video evidence linking several suspects to the murder of a Pennsylvania musician. Videos produced using GeoTime displayed animated graphics showing the suspects’ movement and proximity to the crime scene during the homicide and ultimately helped jurors convict the perpetrators. “Having GeoTime was a great benefit. It can potentially push an investigation further by exploring the data in greater detail and finding things which may have been overlooked,” said Detective Joseph Coffman, Falls Township Police Department who used GeoTime to help investigate his homicide case.


Most of our GIS projects are delivered via web services and this has paid big dividends in terms of efficiency and flexibility


Going forward, Garton envisions 3D data visualization to provide users with the power to instantaneously spot patterns and trends hidden within dynamic datasets. “Our products have helped users from different industries to not only gain insight from their data but also provide them with the tools to share this insight with others. Our vision for the future is to create innovative tools for visual analysis of geospatial data that can be used in a wide variety of markets by users ranging from senior executives to entry level analysts,” he concludes.

Company
Oculus

Headquarters
Toronto, Canada

Management
Curtis Garton, Director & Senior Product Manager

Description
A software services consulting group that designs and develops innovative business visualization solutions for clients