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Geological Mapping Training in Virtual Environment

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Prototype at - http://www.see.leeds.ac.uk/virtual_worlds/demo/

Learning outcomes
To become confident in plotting and interpreting data on a geological map.
To understand the decision making skills involved in constructing a geological map in the field in the most time efficient manner.
To practice constructing three-dimensional geological relations, including drawing cross sections.

Published in: Education

Geological Mapping Training in Virtual Environment

  1. 1. Geological Mapping In A Virtual World Jacqui Houghton1, Annabeth Robinson2, Clare Gordon1, Geoff Lloyd1 and Dan Morgan1. 1 University of Leeds, 2 Leeds College of Arts.
  2. 2. Geological Mapping in a Virtual World  Update of a web-based mapping project, from an original paper exercise on the Moine thrust geology of NW Scotland.  Then we discovered Unity and instead we created…  A virtual field work environment which allows training in, and reinforcement of, mapping skills in the class room.  Project consists of three parts: • Programming – Annabeth • Geology – Jacqui, Geoff, Dan • Cartography – Clare
  3. 3.  Virtual landscape populated with 137 ‘outcrops’ each with its own ‘notebook’ entry with information on the rock characteristics.  Students plot these on a real field slip then decide, using the information provided, which outcrop to visit next, exercising the same decision-making skills as required in the field.  Create a geological map, cross sections and stratigraphic column. Geological Mapping in a Virtual World
  4. 4. Not a replacement for field work.  Occupies a virtual space between the class room and the field. Learning outcomes  To become confident in plotting and interpreting data on a geological map.  To understand the decision making skills involved in constructing a geological map in the field in the most time efficient manner.  To practice constructing three- dimensional geological relations, including drawing cross sections. Geological Mapping in a Virtual World
  5. 5.  Current opening page
  6. 6.  Enter the field area close to the minibus  Two minibuses can be used to ‘teleport’ between the hill and the coast  Walk pacing – enforces ‘thinking’ time and realism
  7. 7.  GPS (G) gives location for plotting on the map  Compass (C) is useful as it is easy to lose sense of direction  Sounds, sheep and the wind farm contextualise and add realism
  8. 8.  Once close to the outcrop a click brings up the notebook  Notebook: Details of the rock, fossils and structure  Measurements then plotted on the field slip and used to make decision where to go next
  9. 9.  Field slip
  10. 10.  Run in a two hour practical slot as part of a maps course.  About 50 second year students, who had already been on the mapping training field trip to Assynt.  Asked to do a northern transect, produce a map and cross section.  Initial response was a lot more enthusiastic than we expected for the gaming generation!  “I’m enjoying this way more than is natural…” The Test Run
  11. 11.  Students were more inclined to plot readings directly on to their map than in the field.  Easier being at a desk and not needing to record data in notebook.  “Outcrop capture” – get ’em on the map fast; worry about the geology later. A common field problem.  Easier and quicker to ask and answer questions  All felt it a good exercise to do before mapping in the field The Test Run
  12. 12. Future plans  This version will be made freely available on the Web.  Full model integrated with teaching at first and second year level and a refresher at masters level.  Alternative assessment for the mapping trip for students with mitigating circumstances, with actual hand specimens rather than rock descriptions provided.  Other virtual worlds:  Engineering geology  Ecology  Environmental studies
  13. 13. Any questions…? j.houghton@leeds.ac.uk Project Lead annabeth.robinson@leeds-art.ac.uk Serious Game Design
  14. 14. Working with Unity
  15. 15. Working with Unity
  16. 16. Working with Unity
  17. 17. Working with Unity

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