Developers: Andrew Johnson, Jason Leigh, Paul Morin, Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Minnesota, Peter van Keken, Geological Sciences, University of Michigan
The GeoWall is low-cost, non-tracked, passive-stereo system that allows distributed audiences to view and interact with 3D immersive content. While it can be applied to many applications, the Geoscience community immediately saw its potential for supporting Earth Science curricula in the classroom and in geological fieldwork. As a result of the GeoWall success and broad appeal, a consortium was created to deploy the EVL-developed technology to its members. For the past several years, EVL has partnered with The University of Minnesota, the GeoWall Consortium’s lead institution to provide access to EVL’s research and development of geoscientific visualization tools, techniques and technologies to participating institutions. Currently, there are over 30 active GeoWall Consortium members consisting of researchers and educators from geological and computer science disciplines collaborating to develop hardware and software solutions for low-cost stereo visualization.
A good understanding of spatial relationships is a fundamental requirement in the study of the Earth Sciences. Traditional teaching methods have strongly relied on the 2D representations through maps and profiles that are occasionally augmented by physical models. Although most Earth Scientists have been trained to understand the 3D structure from such representations, the extrapolation requires spatial thinking skills that are difficult to learn and often form a stumbling block for students at the introductory level. The advent of the GeoWall and its deployment to Consortium members and educators has successfully addressed these teaching challenges.
Date: May 1, 2002 - August 1, 2005