Geography VR: a Stanley Park Virtual Field trip

The Technology of Virtual Reality

The Geography VR project is utilizing cutting-edge innovative technologies. Virtual reality is an expanding platform that has grown ever since it’s first introduction, and is the key innovation that we will be utilized within this project. Photogrammetry and other technologies were also used, combining the best and newest innovations to make a impressive large scale project that will be the first of its kind.

The Project

The project focuses on Stanley park as virtual reality experience, with 3D spatial environment models, ground level photogrammetry, and the Unity game engine. Using a combination of cutting edge techniques and technologies, the Geography VR team is in the process of creating a fully interactive virtual space that allows students to learn about their surroundings from a different perspective. The project started from the Geography Department, with the goal of making experiential learning more accessible. Field trips are a vital part of learning about Geography, but what if you lack funding? What if a site is too dangerous for people to visit? What if a site is halfway around the world? By making it a virtual project, you give students the opportunity to access these sites from classrooms, or even from comfort of their own homes. Not only this, but you can allow students to interact with environments in more ways than in reality, giving them tools to play with time, space, and scale. Stanley Park was chosen, as it is the crown-jewel of urban parks in Canada. This project focuses on Prospect Point, a beautiful site within Prospect Point

Objective

The objective of this project is two-fold:

  1. The first is to create a complete immersive teaching and learning tool. The project will be polished and allow students, or anyone for that matter, to explore a photorealistic, intractable virtual environment of Prospect Point.
  2. The second is to release this project as an open source project, complete with best practices and a Wiki. It will be released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license. This will make this project and all of it’s technology align with open pedagogy and sharing accessible education.

Please visit the Emerging Media Lab for a video describing the project.