Datamine Delivers Powerful Visualization To Mining Customers With HOOPS Visualize
“We can throw tens of millions of triangles at MineScape, and the performance doesn’t miss a beat. The amount of data we can load up and manage is really impressive. You wouldn’t believe how many comments we get from customers saying, ‘Wow, that’s really fast – we haven’t seen anything like that.’ That’s all because of the HOOPS Visualize engine.”
Jim Sronce, General Manager, MineScape
When it was first established in the United Kingdom in 1981, Datamine helped revolutionize the mining industry as a pioneer of 3D computerized resource modelling and estimation tools. In the decades since, the company has expanded to a network of 25 offices in 20 countries, while significantly diversifying the range of technology it offers to customers. One of the company’s key offerings is MineScape, a client-server 3D application utilizing a plugin architecture for dynamically loading mining functionality. “Think of it as an integrated mining solution for general mine planning,” said Jim Sronce, General Manager of MineScape. “The software is used by mine planning engineers, mine design engineers, drill and blast engineers, geologists, and other experts for all aspects of mining, from start to finish.” Since 3D visualization is integral to many aspects of mine design and planning, the company wanted to find the best wayto deliver the powerful graphics and performance its customers needed – and that required a change from its in-house development approach. “It is imperative that our customers can display their data quickly, in real-time, with support for the massive data sizes that are typical in mining,” said Simon Todd, Senior Development Manager for MineScape. “In earlier versions of MineScape, we built our own 3D engine, which required a lot of development resources. We were simultaneously trying to keep a graphics engine up to date while also creating mining- specific features for our customers.” Todd continued, “We eventually hit a crossroad and decided ‘Let’s focus on what we do best – mining – and let other experts handle the 3D visualization’.”
"Wow, That's Really Fast"
Over the course of nine months, the company carefully researched and evaluated different graphics engines, eventually selecting HOOPS Visualize as the best choice for MineScape. A 3D rendering engine used in hundreds of successful engineering applications, HOOPS Visualize makes it easy to add high- performance, interactive 3D visualization to both desktop and mobile applications. “During the proof-of-concept stage, it was immediately apparent that the HOOPS Visualize SDK was way ahead of the competition in terms of functionality, speed, and ability to seamlessly integrate into MineScape’s architecture,” said Todd. “That technical edge – coupled with the responsiveness from Tech Soft 3D around answering questions, addressing any support issues, and sharing roadmap plans – made it clear we had found our vendor of choice.” Overall, the company feels that its decision to utilize a third party like Tech Soft 3D for 3D graphics visualization has been a great strategic decision. “It just made a lot of sense for our business,” said Sronce. “We’re not a graphics company – we’re a mining software company. That’s our bread and butter.” Because the company’s development resources can now focus on industry-specific features and functionality, MineScape can come out with new product releases that respond to the needs of the mining market very quickly. “It used to be that when mining consultants would come to us with a new feature request, it might take us months to develop it, since we were busy maintaining our own graphics engine and writing visualization code,” said Todd. “Now, we can turn around new features in a week. The faster time-to-market that enables is really great.” Alongside freeing up resources and increasing business agility for the company, HOOPS Visualize has delivered rock-solid performance to the application itself. “We can throw tens of millions of triangles at MineScape, and the performance doesn’t miss a beat,” said Sronce. “The amount of data we can load up and manage is really impressive. You wouldn’t believe how many comments we get from customers saying, ‘Wow, that’s really fast – we haven’t seen anything like that.’ That’s all because of the HOOPS Visualize engine.” Todd concluded, “3D visualization is at the core of MineScape. It’s integral to everything the product does – from display, to plotting, to interrogation, to sectioning and slicing. The results of using HOOPS Visualize speak for themselves: Our customers are delighted with our 3D graphics, how well the product works with large data, and the amazing things the product can do for them. Our partnership with Tech Soft 3D has been a real success, and there are good synergies in place as we go forward together.”
Challenge: Mining industry customers require solution with strong visualization capabilities for all aspects of mine design and planning. Developing graphics engine internally was a time- and resource-intensive undertaking. New feature and functionality requests could languish in queue for months due to stretched development teams.
Solution: HOOPS Visualize is a powerful 3D graphics SDK that makes it easy to incorporate high-performance, interactive 3D visualization into applications.
Results: Leverage the industry’s leading visualization toolkit, allowing development resources to focus on mining-specific functionality that differentiates offering. Reduce time required to incorporate new features and functionality into product from months to weeks, quickly adapting to market needs. Provide users with the best possible rendering and selection performance, even for massive amounts of complex mining data.