Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Web 3D Applications

Each one of MBARI's ROV dives is available in a virtual world replay via the Institute's Expedition database (internal access only). Video frame grab images are placed along the dive track for easy visualization and comparison with geologic structures as shown in high resolution renderings of the terrain. The 3D Replay system has been implemented with open specifications and software, namely GeoVRML. See presentation links at bottom of this page for the details. 

GeoVRML implementation (software requirements)

Two transect dives on the Cleft segment of the Juan de Fuca Ridge.
See 8 min video clip of these dives (230 MB AVI file) with narration by Mike McCann and Debra Stakes. 

(Click image for full-size version) Additional screen shots

Standard VRML implementation

1999084grab3.gif (242181 bytes)
(Click image for full-size version)

Read the story of the presentation during Web3D-VRML
2000's Web3D Roundup in ACM Computer Graphics.

  • View video clip made on 1 February 2000 (4.5 minutes)
    View the clip to see how to interact with the 3D virtual world. (The video has an audio track, you may have to turn your speakers up a bit it to hear it.) The purpose of this online video clip is to demonstrate the web access to these visualizations and how you would use the interface to interact and view the data. The visual quality is low as a result of the encoding.

  • After viewing this clip try exploring these dives...
    These visualizations use have been successfully tested on SGI Irix with Netscape 4.5, Windows 95/98/NT with IE 4, Netscape 4.7, and Netscape 6, Power Macintosh and iMac with Netscape 4.7 (follow installation instructions carefully). The trickiest part is getting the plugin installed properly, after that is done you can explore these worlds as well as many other 3D worlds that are on the net.
    Requires VRML plugin: (select free download for your system)

    • Just the terrain ( geometry: 6,156 polygons - 45 Kb,  jpg texture: 1635x1513 pixels - 288 Kb )
  •   More sample screen shots.

Papers and presentations


Last updated: 9 April 2004, Mike McCann.  Please send me email at
  if you have any questions or comments.