Paper No. 67-1
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-5:30 PM
VISUALIZING TOPOGRAPHY AND DIPPING STRATA USING AN AUGMENTED REALITY SANDBOX
Students often struggle with the three dimensional visualization skills necessary to envision how topography interacts with dipping strata. The augmented reality sandbox conceived by Oliver Kreylos at the UC-Davis institute for Data Analysis and Visualization projects a digital topographic map onto the landscape created in a sandbox. As the landscape in the sand is altered, the topographic map that is projected dynamically adjusts to match the landscape. This allows users to see how three dimensional topography is translated to a two dimensional map. Geologic maps display both topographic and geologic data simultaneously. The outcrop pattern of different rock types is a function of both the topography and the underlying geology. Simple geologic geometries, such as a planar contact, can create complex map patterns when projected onto complex topography. Learning to filter out the complex patterns introduced by topography to see what is often simple underlying geology is a key skill for new geologists to learn. We present the results from in-progress development of software that seeks to integrate a dynamically changing dipping plane with the augmented reality sandbox. Our goal is to develop a teaching tool that allows students to explore the relationship between dipping planes and topography by kinesthetically adjusting both the topography and the orientation of the dipping plane. The position and orientation of the plane is controlled by users holding their hand in the desired orientation over a LeapMotion sensor, which calculates the strike and dip of that plane and incorporates the trace of the contact between this plane and the topography into the map projected by the augmented reality sandbox. If successful, this teaching tool will allow students to explore dipping planes and topography by simply playing in a sandbox and hopefully discover the rule of V’s independently.