Matrox Graphics Inc., the leading manufacturer of professional graphics solutions, announced that the Matrox Parhelia graphics card powered advanced visualizations of the recent blackout in the northeastern U.S. and Canada. These images were created by Vector One, a GIS and visualization services provider based in Germany, using the following powerful GIS and visualization software: Visual Nature Studio and Ultimate Earth, by 3D Nature and GeoMedia Professional, by Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions.

"The Matrox Parhelia graphics card is very useful for use with GIS applications for a number of reasons,” said Jeff Thurston, Director, Vector One. “One reason being that the rendering speed is enhanced greatly, which is important where geospatial data files, such as the blackout maps, are not simple pictures but are true digital elevation models (DEM), with enhanced satellite imagery, and are very large files covering a great part of the eastern seaboard.”

The blackout, which occurred the afternoon of August 14, 2003, covered an area of 25,000 sq. km., and affected over 50 million people. It is believed to have originated in the state of Ohio, near Cleveland, where a series of events triggered the collapse of the Eastern Intersection Grid, an integrated power grid covering the area and consisting of numerous hydroelectric and nuclear power generating stations. The images created by Vector One GIS and Visualization depict the area and the events, as they are currently known, that contributed to the blackout - the largest ever experienced in North America.

The images created are available on Vector One’s website at:

Source: Matrox Graphics Inc.