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Spotlight On: Data Observatory

Each month we post a new edition to the SES ‘Spotlight On…’ series, showcasing equipment at our institutions, providing information and case studies for interested researchers/industries, and promoting better use of already available equipment.

The Data Observatory is a research tool for visually observing and making sense of large amounts of data in a collaborative immersive environment.

The Data Observatory is an immersive space with a wall of 64 screens powered by more than 40 computers, giving to the user a 310 degree surrounding view. With a combined resolution of 132 million pixels the observatory provides high fidelity display of research data for collaborative discussion, and using a new MS Surface Pro Hub 2s as a control panel allows even better flexibility and more accurate control. The observatory contains a full surround sound system and a touch sensitive control system. Custom and commercial software makes data visualisation straightforward and gives insight into the data for research discussion or presentation to stakeholders.

What is it used for?

The Observatory supports researchers to display and investigate their data by displaying it on a high resolution immersive visualization environment. The system has been used by a wide range of disciplines and industry collaborators. The goal of each visualization project is to understand data submitted and to present it for research discussion through data dense immersive visualization. Most projects are facilitated by staff at the Data Science Institute and require access to research/ corporate data. Projects generally take 1-3 months.

Some recent applications inlcude:

Algorithmic Society LaboratoryMachine Learning LaboratoryBusiness Analytics LaboratoryData Economy LaboratoryBehavioural Analytics LaboratoryData Assimilation LaboratorySocial and Cultural Analytics Laboratory.

Current Research:

Who has access?

Researchers at Imperial College London and beyond by agreement

Our Data Observatory is a unique space not only for data visualisation and exploration, but also for interactive data analysis and group activities. We have hosted several business meetings as well as public lectures, research presentations and events for the public. It is always a pleasure to see a new audience entering the observatory in awe

– Dr Anna Cupani – Stakeholder Engagement Manager

Potential relevant disciplines: 

Any data driven discipline or image driven research



Profile picture - Anna Cupani

Dr Anna Cupani

Stakeholder Engagement Manager, Data Observatory, Imperial College London