2006 Philadelphia Annual Meeting (22–25 October 2006)

Paper No. 7
Presentation Time: 9:30 AM


HENNESSY, Ronán W. and FEELY, Martin, Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, National University of Ireland, Galway, Galway, Ireland, ronan.hennessy@nuigalway.ie

Acknowledging the exposure of students to highly innovative visual technologies outside of the school environment, we are confronted with a need to match these standards when developing teaching tools for use in school curricula. Taking advantage of the developments in multimedia technologies, interactive and animated graphics provide a highly effective means of delivering information. The use of geoscientific multimedia enables tuition to be imparted either through teacher-student instruction or through an e-learning student centred module.

Focusing on a coastal region in Connemara, western Ireland, an educational multimedia CD-Rom has been developed. Designed as a support tool for second level geography teachers in Ireland, information is served through a standard Internet browser. Building on core themes of the physical geography syllabus that include landform development, geological processes, map interpretation, geographical analysis and ICT, these features are demonstrated in respect to their association to this specific region in the west of Ireland. The website provides interactive maps, which serve as georeferenced links to various aspects of geographical information. Drawing from open-source technologies such as GeoVRML and GoogleMaps, the use of interactive and three-dimensional virtual environments augments traditional methods of spatial analysis and helps students to improve their understanding of the inherent geometry of the physical landscape.

The capacity for interactive visualisation of multi-scale features of geological and geomorphological characteristics presents itself as an excellent tool for pre- and post field study investigation. The development of a geo-multimedia website represents a highly informative and cost effective method of presenting visually stimulating, and scientifically accurate geographical information to a technologically inspired audience.