Immersive virtual reality in geotourism

Raimondo, A/Prof. Tom1

1UniSA STEM, University Of South Australia, GPO Box 2471, Adelaide, Australia

Project LIVE (Learning through Immersive Virtual Environments) is a cross-disciplinary initiative at the University of South Australia to embed immersive virtual and mixed reality experiences across the entire teaching program of UniSA STEM. This is achieved using techniques such as Remotely Piloted Aircraft (drone) surveying, 3D photogrammetry, gigapixel photography, terrestrial laser scanning (LiDAR), 360-degree panoramic photos and videos, and location-based mobile learning apps. The Project LIVE team has recently developed a flexible template for the efficient production of high-quality virtual tours, where users can easily substitute images, videos, 3D models and narrative components such as voiceovers and text descriptions to adapt the experience to new field locations. Our platform opens up significant opportunities for the creation of a suite of engaging, authentic and impactful VR geotourism experiences. This presentation will demonstrate a proof of concept using the Hallett Cove Geological Heritage Site in Adelaide, South Australia. Entitled Beyond the Ice, the virtual tour incorporates several complementary elements including an immersive VR experience, web-based geotour, mobile learning game and 360 street view walking trail, all of which are freely available at: https://www.projectlive.org.au/beyond-the-ice. Further examples from other major geosites across Australia will be shown, concluding with a discussion of the future geotourism opportunities to be explored.


Biography

Tom Raimondo is Associate Professor of Geology and Geochemistry and Professorial Lead for STEM at the University of South Australia. He is also the Director of Project LIVE (Learning through Immersive Virtual Environments).

About the GSA

The Geological Society of Australia was established as a non-profit organisation in 1952 to promote, advance and support Earth sciences in Australia.

As a broadly based professional society that aims to represent all Earth Science disciplines, the GSA attracts a wide diversity of members working in a similarly broad range of industries.

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