DXR: A Toolkit for Building Immersive Data Visualizations
(IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 2019.)
This paper presents DXR, a toolkit for building immersive data visualizations based on the Unity development platform. Over the past years, immersive data visualizations in augmented and virtual reality (AR, VR) have been emerging as a promising medium for data sense-making beyond the desktop. However, creating immersive visualizations remains challenging, and often require complex low-level programming and tedious manual encoding of data attributes to geometric and visual properties. These can hinder the iterative idea-to-prototype process, especially for developers without experience in 3D graphics, AR, and VR programming. With DXR, developers can efficiently specify visualization designs using a concise declarative visualization grammar inspired by Vega-Lite. DXR further provides a GUI for easy and quick edits and previews of visualization designs in-situ, i.e., while immersed in the virtual world. DXR also provides reusable templates and customizable graphical marks, enabling unique and engaging visualizations. We demonstrate the flexibility of DXR through several examples spanning a wide range of applications.