Designing a Virtual Arboretum as an Immersive, Multimodal, Interactive, Data Visualization Virtual Field Trip

Maria C. R. Harrington, Zack Bledsoe, Chris Jones, James Miller, Thomas Pring
2021 Multimodal Technologies and Interaction  
This paper describes a virtual field trip application as a new type of immersive, multimodal, interactive, data visualization of a virtual arboretum. Deployed in a game engine, it is a large, open-world simulation, representing 100 hectares and ideal for use when free choice in navigation and high fidelity are required. Although the computer graphics are photorealistic, it is different and unique from other applications that use game art or 2D 360-degree video, because it reflects high
more » ... on fidelity as a result of the domain expert review, and the integration of geographic information system (GIS) data with drone images. Combined in-game as a data visualization, it is ideal for generating past or future worlds, in addition to representations of the present. Fusing information from many data sources—terrain data, waterbody data, plant inventory, population density data, accurate plant models, bioacoustics, and drone images—its design process and methods could be repeated and used in a wide range of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) applications and devices. Results on presence, embodiment, emotions, engagement, and learning are summarized from prior pilot studies for context on use, and are relevant to schools, museums, arboretums, and botanical gardens interested in developing immersive informal learning applications.
doi:10.3390/mti5040018 fatcat:nagt5gws3nfglcs4dq4vfpquy4