GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, USA - 2016

Paper No. 67-12
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-5:30 PM


BENTLEY, Callan, Geology program, Northern Virginia Community College, Annadale, VA 22652, DUDEK, Marissa J., Geology Department, Northern Virginia Community College, 8333 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, VA 22652 and ROHRBACK, Robin, Northern Virginia Community College, 8333 Little River Turnpike, MSE Division, Annandale, VA 22003,

Over summer 2016, an expedition to Iceland, Northern Ireland, and Scotland, captured digital imagery of key geologic sites in several dynamic media: GigaPans, spherical photos, and 3D models. Virtual field experiences (VFEs) utilizing these media have been constructed and are freely available for geoscience educators to use. Instructors and their students can explore the images by changing the level of zoom, the direction of view, or both. The VFEs are suitable for introductory or upper-level geology students, as well as pre-service science teachers. Examples of some of the “virtual field experiences” that have resulted are:

The imagery resulting from the north Atlantic expedition have been added to the Mid-Atlantic Geo-Image Collection (MAGIC). Our expansive collection comprises a suite of ~1400 GigaPan images (average size of ~1 gigapixel each), and now also includes spherical photos and a diverse array of 3D models of outcrops and hand samples. The North Atlantic additions include ~200 new GigaPans, dozens of spherical photos, and ~25 new 3D models. All of these materials are free and available to everyone for educational or research purposes. The images can be embedded in webpages or Google Earth. The 3D models can also be 3D printed.

Additional VFEs will include:

  • Thingvellir, Iceland
  • Portrush, Northern Ireland
  • Yesnabey, Orkney Islands
  • Dob’s Linn, Scotland
  • North West Highlands, Scotland
  • Arran, Scotland
  • Islay, Scotland
  • The Parallel Roads of Glen Roy, Scotland

Support for this project comes from the Virginia Community College System’s Chancellor’s Commonwealth Professorship and the Google Earth for On-site and Distance Education project (GEODE, NSF DUE 1323419).