GSA Connects 2021 in Portland, Oregon

Paper No. 23-2
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-1:00 PM


NEEDLE, Mattathias1, MOOC, Jacky2, AKERS, John Francis2 and CRIDER, Juliet1, (1)Department of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington, 4000 15th Avenue NE, Seattle, WA 98195, (2)UW Reality Lab, University of Washington, 3800 East Stevens Way NE, Seattle, WA 98195

The widespread adoption of laser scanning and photogrammetry to record field sites has led to a wealth of 3D datasets, but sharing and enabling other researchers and students to interact with these datasets is an evolving paradigm. Here, we introduce the Structural Geology Query Toolkit, which enables anyone with a 3D model to design a first-person-perspective, open-ended, virtual field experience in which the end-user can collect structural data. The toolkit is formatted as a project that can be opened in Unity, a free game-engine software, and is hosted and curated on Github, where we provide detailed instructions on how to insert any georeferenced 3D model into our Unity-based project and generate a shareable virtual field experience. The toolkit has simulations for the following types of measurements: users can measure elevation, linear distance, strike and dip, trend and plunge, examining features as if on the outcrop. Orientation data instantly plots to an onscreen stereonet which can also calculate average orientations and estimate fold axes (pi-plot). Data can be downloaded from our stereonet interface for further analysis in other programs. The designer can alter the speed of locomotion and scale of the terrain model, enabling exploration of large (e.g. planetary surfaces) and small (e.g. analog models) terrains. Unlike in real life, the toolkit permits jetpack-style locomotion for data collection in hard-to-reach locations.

We offer project versions for publishing to WebGL, virtual reality, and an agnostic version that can be built to a multitude of other platforms. While our project contains original codes that require no alterations, we welcome the development of additional tools that go beyond what we have written and hope to build a community of users and designers for education and scientific exchange: