Rocky Mountain Section - 69th Annual Meeting - 2017

Paper No. 12-3
Presentation Time: 2:20 PM


RICHARDS, Bill D., Geology/Geography, North Idaho College, 1000 W. Garden Ave, Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814,

The geologically diverse Rocky Mountain region can offer valuable learning opportunities for geoscience students at all levels. While in-person trips to many locales in the region are invaluable for geoscientists, not all can make the trips. Technology can provide opportunities for students from any region to benefit from the learning opportunities contained in the geology of the Rocky Mountain region.

One technology useful across the geosciences is the use of gigapixel imagery to construct virtual fieldtrips and virtual geologic sample explorations. However, constructing useful lessons from this technology can be daunting. Some of the technology previously available for creating the web pages needed has been deprecated and is no longer supported by many modern web browsers, for example: Microsoft’s Deep Zoom technology contained within their Silverlight platform. Silverlight is no longer supported on most web browsers and is no longer developed or advanced by Microsoft.

This presenter will provide a demonstration of a web page template technology to allow educators to create the web presentations of virtual field locations and virtual geologic samples, including 3D. Utilizing an open-source javascript library that does not require any browser plugins, basic web page templates can be created that only require the educator to enter the url of the resource to use in the student’s web view, in addition to any inquiry instructions to the student or potential questions for the student to consider and answer. This presentation will demonstrate the use of the basic web page template to access gigapixel images for a multitude of Rocky Mountain locations as virtual field-trip opportunities. The imagery can be hosted on various servers, including those images uploaded directly to the website, opening up a huge library of Rocky Mountain regional locations. In addition, 3D models of actual field samples from the Rocky Mountain locations, hosted on Sketchfab, can be presented to the student alongside the zoomable gigapixel images. In addition, the presentation will demonstrate the use of this web page template across multiple browser platforms and hardware, further reducing educator’s anxiety and other hurdles to providing access to diverse geological learning opportunities the Rocky Mountain region can provide.