A 3D virtual geology field trip in Unity

Minocha, Shailey; Argles, Thomas; Richardson, Brian and Burden, David (2013). A 3D virtual geology field trip in Unity. In: Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education, 24-27 Jul 2013, Second Life (3D virtual world).

URL: http://vwbpe.org/ai1ec_event/a-3d-virtual-geology-...


As a part of The OpenScience Laboratory, (http://www.open.ac.uk/openscience/), an initiative of The Open University (OU), UK and The Wolfson Foundation, we (OU and Daden http://www.daden.co.uk) are developing a 3D simulation of a Geology field trip based around Skiddaw in the Lake District, using the Unity 3D software. We are using digital data and imagery to reconstruct the landscape faithfully enough to provide a real sense of presence for the user. The primary objective of developing an authentic 3D interactive simulation has been to provide an immersive experience to the users through sense of space. The virtual embodiment in the form of avatars and the multi-user environment will help give a sense of co-presence and provide opportunities for collaborative learning. The interactions and the learning activities within the 3D environment are designed to mirror the experience of a real field trip. During the presentation at the conference, we plan to address: comparison of the 3D experience with 2D virtual field trips; the role that a 3D virtual geology field trip can play in terms of preparation and reflection before and after a real field trip; and whether and how a 3D simulation helps in gaining geological fieldwork skills and the limitations of 3D virtual geology field trips.

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