Feeds

Nature moves into 3D publishing

Articles finally catch up with ads

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Astronomers, publishers and computing experts claimed a "significant milestone" in the New Year's Day edition of heavyweight boffinry journal Nature, saying it is "the first time a major scientific journal has used a 3-D PDF of graphics in an article".

The 3D pdf format, which can be displayed by any computer with up-to-date Adobe Reader software installed, was used to present a "dendrogram" illustrating the role of gravitation in the formation of stars within mighty interstellar gas clouds.

The dendrogram star-formation work was led by Alyssa Goodman, astronomy prof at Harvard and founder of the Initiative in Innovative Computing (IIC). According to Goodman, use of 3D computing imaging tech developed at the IIC offered new insights into "reams" of existing astronomical data previously collected on the L1448 region of Perseus. The software had previously been used for medical purposes such as analysing MRI scans.

Prof Goodman said that the 3D images allowed better understanding of the gas cloud's nature and structure.

“There’s no way of noticing this without being able to see this in 3-D,” Goodman said.

Naturally enough, we had a go - you can grab your own 3D stellar gas-plasm dendrogram here (pdf). (You need Adobe Reader 8.1.2 or later for it to work properly, downloadable here if you haven't got it.) We recommend selecting "Full Screen Multimedia" from the right-click menu.

We think most reasonably well-informed readers will find their understanding of interstellar gas-cloud structure massively enhanced from its previous level, just as ours was - if not quite up to the level where we'd get an article published in Nature on the strength of it.

The conversion from the IIC's hefty boffinry-ware to everyday 3D pdf was done by Kiwi firm Right Hemisphere, who reckon tri-di publishing will be the wave of the future.

“We see the use of 3-D in publishing by Harvard and Nature magazine to be a significant milestone in publishing history," said Right Hemisphere honcho Mark Thomas, sounding a death knell no doubt for publications like this one still struggling to get to grips with 2D graphics.

That said, there may yet be a place for more basic technologies such as PlayMobilVision or even text in the ordinary media - and for extremely hard sums in such august publications as Nature. Down-under startup upstarts take note. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Inside the Hekaton: SQL Server 2014's database engine deconstructed
Nadella's database sqares the circle of cheap memory vs speed
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
IRS boss on XP migration: 'Classic fix the airplane while you're flying it attempt'
Plus: Condoleezza Rice at Dropbox 'maybe she can find ... weapons of mass destruction'
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.