GridOrbit is a public awareness display that visualizes the activity of a community grid used in a biology laboratory. This community grid executes bioin-formatics algorithms and relies on users to donate CPU cycles to the grid. The goal of GridOrbit is to create a shared awareness about the research taking place in the biology laboratory. Our work explores the usage of interactive technologies as enablers for the appropriation of an otherwise invisible infrastructure. In this workshop paper we explore the challenges when developing infrastructure awareness systems based on contextual analysis, and propose guidelines for enhancing the design process.
This project is now completed, and we presented the results at the CHI 2011 conference, and will be the core of my dissertation work on Infrastructure Awareness. The following video shows the evolution of the GridOrbit visualization throughout the deployment period (every 30 minutes for 30 days).