The Jean Golding Institute for Data Intensive Research at the University of Bristol has partnered with the Bristol VR lab and We The Curious to provide £8,000 funding to the winner of its first Data Visualisation Challenge. The competition is designed to support the development of a prototype data-visualisation project which will be displayed in the Bristol Data Dome.

“Data visualisation is becoming a very important part of the data revolution”


It also aims to stimulate a community interested in science content development based on state-of-the-art science and the latest VR, AR and 360 data-visualisation techniques. 

Patricia Holley (pictured right) manager at JGI Bristol tells us: “We believe that data visualisation is becoming a very important part of the data revolution since the quantity of data is growing exponentially. Data visualisation can offer the right tools to make sense of data and to share this information not only with the experts but with the general public too.”

Get involved

Open to both researchers working with complex datasets that could be explored with either 360 technologies, AR or VR, and professionals in data visualisation, VR, AR, VFX, 360 content developers, gaming developers and producers that are keen to work with researchers – there are opportunities to get involved for practically any data enthusiast.

And with over a month to go until the 15 December deadline to submit your expression of interest, there’s plenty of time left to express your interest.

“New developments in research could be shared with the community in a new and fascinating way”


Patricia adds: “The main aim of the competition is to create an ecosystem in Bristol of people working in data visualisation and production of science content using state-of-the-art digital technologies. The researchers will benefit from looking at their data in different ways and producing a visualisation that could increase the impact of their research. They will also connect with VR professionals which may generate future projects and funding.

“The VR, AR and 360 professionals will have access to the new Bristol VR Lab, including equipment and expertise. Being part of this hub will benefit them by growing their networks and producing unique content that may showcase their expertise to larger audiences. In addition, We The Curious have expressed their willingness to support the project with their expertise in science communication and the professionals may benefit from this input.”

Create and collaborate

For those inspired to get involved, it’s also worth noting that the challenge offers the perfect opportunity to collaborate with others in different disciplines looking to make exciting things happen with complex data.

Data community: The JGI Bristol team smile in front of their latest project,
a robotic harp that plays to the tune of structural data collected from
Bristol’s iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge


As Patricia explains: “Teams won’t need to be formed before expressing their interest. We are planning a team formation event on 11 January 2018 at the Bristol VR Lab. One of the requirements is that the visualisation uses datasets produced by University of Bristol research teams. The research projects and the data will be presented at this event in January and teams will be formed then. Teams will have until the 25 January to prepare their project brief and a winner will be chosen from those applications.”

She adds: “We hope that new connections are built during this process and that researchers are aware of the expertise outside academia that could aid their work in the future. Although we have funding to cover one project at the moment we hope that we will be able to apply for further funding to support more projects to develop more prototypes.

“These visualisations will be showcased in the Data Dome (Planetarium) at We the Curious and we hope to approach other domes across the country. In that way, new developments in research could be shared with the community in a new and fascinating way.”

Find out more about how to get involved and apply via the JGI Bristol website, or by following them on Twitter here: @JGIBristol.

(Image credit: Synwell)