Tangible Landscape: open source environment for geospatial learning, science, and community engagement


August 31, 2016 (Wednesday) at 6 PM (GMT)

Presented by Helena Mitasova, Anna Petrasova, Brendan Harmon, Vaclav
Petras, Payam Tabrizian – Ross Meentemeyer Center for Geospatial Analytics, North Carolina State University, USA

In this webinar we introduce Tangible Landscape – a new type of modeling environment for interacting with geospatial data, analyses and simulations using maleable 3D physical models. We will describe the concept, show various options for hardware set-ups in a laboratory or at outreach events,and discuss technologies for creating 3D landscape models. The system is powered by open source GRASS GIS and it is designed as a platform for developing new applications. We will illustrate its capabilities using case studies in which we have explored how dune breaches affect the extent of coastal flooding,the impact of different building configurations on cast shadows and solar energy potential,and the effectiveness of various landscape designs for controlling runoff and erosion. We will present different types of interaction including molding polymeric sand, placing markers,and drawing with laser pointer. We will demonstrate how these tangible interactions can be used for collaborative decision making or engaging geogames.
The most recent (and exciting) development includes coupling tangible landscape with an immersive virtual environment, which allows users to virtually step into the modeled landscape. We will show Tangible Landscape in various settings such as outreach events and conferences engaging diverse audiences such as children, scientists, and software developers. We will conclude by introducing the Tangible Landscape on-line community and inviting everyone to join and share their own ideas about hardware set-ups, new applications, software development and modes of interaction.

Details at https://geospatial.ncsu.edu/osgeorel/tangible-landscape.html

More details and how to connect will be updated at

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