South America tele-collaborating via STAR TAP

  • APRIL 5, 2001 -- Seeing "is" believing. Latin American scientists, many for the first time, are experiencing a tele-immersive, collaborative demonstration between North and South America, as part of a three-day meeting in Chile to promote the use of high-performance networks to the Latin American scientific community.

A team from University of Illinois at Chicago's Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) has deployed a virtual reality device -an ImmersaDesk- in Chile, to showcase bandwidth-intensive visualization technology. Back home in Chicago, their colleagues manipulate and discuss 3D visualizations of earthquake data, as well as a virtual pelvic floor model, with the Latin American scientists.

The meeting, "Science, Culture and Education over Internet2,"April 4-6 in Valparaiso, Chile, is being broadcasted to the US over Internet2. See

On site with the EVL team is Paul Morin, of University of Minnesota's geology department, who is showing graphics simulations of earthquake and other geological data he collaboratively developed with EVL research scientist Jason Leigh and University of Michigan geologist Peter Van Keken. For the virtual pelvic floor, the EVL team connects back to Chicago to talk with researcher Fred Dech, from UIC's Virtual Reality in Medicine Laboratory.

STAR TAP, the Chicago-based, next-generation information exchange point, enables Chile's REUNA research and education network to access over 100 US universities and national laboratories, and most of the world's premier networks. In particular, REUNA peers with Internet2's Abilene at STAR TAP, enabling the EVL team in Chile to perform collaborative virtual-reality demonstrations among Valparaiso, Chicago and Ann Arbor.

Last September, Chile became the first South American country to connect to STAR TAP. STAR TAP enables high bandwidth data, 45 Mb/s in the case of REUNA, to flow between the networks. This international, interconnection point is the only next-generation, policy-free exchange point in the world.

About STAR TAP The Science, Technology, And Research Transit Access Point, or STAR TAP, is a proving ground for long-term interconnection and interoperability of advanced international networking. STAR TAP is made possible by major funding from the US National Science Foundation to the University of Illinois at Chicago. See:

About the ImmersaDesk(R) ImmersaDesk is a registered trademark of the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. It was developed with funding from the US National Science Foundation. See