Our research explores automated techniques for visualizing environmental processes and land management decisions. The resulting 3D environment models provide a more realistic look and feel for simulated outcomes than 2D or 2.5D GIS maps and extracted statistics. Automated model generation reduces workflow complexity and increases fidelity by directly coupling science inputs with 3D output.
Urban and environmental scenes are generated within CityEngine utilizing GIS data from various sources. Procedural modeling is applied to create realistic 3D views of alternative scenarios predicted by the Envision integrated planning and environment assessment tool, as well as to visualize discrete events such as fire and firebreak placement. Simulated environments also hold the potential for development of virtual data-generation and collection tools, such as light detection and ranging (LIDAR) scanning.
The resulting 3D models can be explored on a computer, over the web, or in the form of interactive games (utilizing Unity3D), which can further incorporate science results and management policy. The presented tools have been developed to prototype level. Future work is envisioned to validate the 3D models against the original science and measure the effectiveness for outreach, engagement, and public input collection.
Wilder, Tim and Johnston, Josh, "Science-Driven Immersive Environments for Land Management Simulations" (2015). College of Engineering Presentations. 15.