|Technology||Vectorial Elevation consists of a network of computers that process user requests in a first-come first-serve basis. Here are the different technologies involved:
The user reaches www.alzado.net via an IP address given to us by Telmex company Centec, who have provided the connectivity and the mirror infrastructure for the project. Telmex is the largest telecommunications company in Mexico and the premier internet service provider through its Prodigy operations.
The web server is a Linux/Apache box filtered through Dragon security sensors donated to the project by Network Security Wizards in addition to Snort IDS using Max Vision's ruleset, Trinux video reflectors, and other firewalls programmed by dragostech.com. This Edmonton-based company has also provided the customized solutions for security, routing and load balancing.
To make a design, the user downloads a Java applet created by Relational Art, an R&D company directed by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. This applet contains Shout3D code which allows for real time 3D visualization of vrml files without the need for browser plug-ins. Shout Interactive in San Francisco has also provided a frame for the development of an application to extract jpegs from the vrml world. The actual 3D modelling was designed by architect Emilio Lopez-Galiacho from Arquimedia in Madrid.
When the participant submits a request the applet sends the exact x, y and z coordinates of each of the 18 virtual searchlights, as well as user information such as name, location and comments. The server queues this request and estimates a time for completion which is reported back to the user. A "proximity engine", searches the database of previous participants and reports back the five closest matches to the participant's design.
When a request reaches the head of the queue, the data is sent to a 3D DMX application built by APR Inc of Canada. This application knows the exact 3D position of each searchlight thanks to a calibration performed with differential GPS units from Trimble in Sunnyvale, California. The APR application sends appropriate DMX commands to the 18 Syncrolite SS7K searchlights to place them in the desired location. The SS7Ks are 7kW xenon robotic fixtures that produce a collimated lightbeam that can be seen from a 20Km radius. Vectorial Elevation allows user control of 126,000 watts of power.
When the searchlights produce the participant's design three Axis webcams take digital pictures from the skyscraper, the National Palace and the Gran Hotel. The images are watermarked with the participant's information using a custom application built by Relational Art. This application uses two ActiveX components from Pegasus Imaging. As soon as the pictures are taken, a web page is built for the participant and an email is sent to him or her with its URL.
A user may view his or her web page by entering the personal code or by typing the URL in a web browser. The personal page contains the real and virtual images of the user's design as well as their name, location, date, time and comments.
The piece was running for twelve days and received more than 700,000 visits in that period of time. The web site has received more than one million visits to date. Thousands also saw the streaming video coming from the 3 webcams via a custom-made java applet and server kyxpyx.