Geopod: An interactive module for navigating and probing geophysical data

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Tuesday, 25 January 2011: 11:00 AM
Geopod: An interactive module for navigating and probing geophysical data
604 (Washington State Convention Center)
Michael R. Root, Millersville University, Millersville, PA; and K. P. Waegel, L. M. Crouse, G. M. Zoppetti, R. D. Clark, and S. Yalda

Geopod is an intuitive, interactive Java module that allows users to navigate and probe an immersive 3-D world featuring authentic geophysical data. The interface allows undergraduate students to actuate virtual devices while being guided by pre-planned missions. Since the data volume is constructed using output from numerical weather prediction models based on actual physics, the exploration environment naturally exhibits technical accuracy, scientific soundness, physical consistency, and authenticity. These attributes would be enormously challenging and costly to generate with synthetic simulations. Geopod leverages the Unidata Program Center's open source Java-based visualization software, the Integrated Data Viewer (IDV), to import and render model output. The use of IDV as a core application allows the development team to focus solely on the design and implementation of an intuitive interface for navigating the volume. The Geopod mission subsystem guides students through a sound instructional design plan that includes learning objectives, learner characteristics, learning theory, instructional strategy, and practical context.

The presentation will demonstrate the key features of the Geopod including, but not limited to the following: 1) the Geopod interface; 2) customizable display panels with drag-and-drop capability for up to 20 user-selected meteorological variables; 3) intuitive keyboard and mouse navigation (with optional Wii controller capability); 4) high fidelity isosurface traversal; 5) an autopilot system for smoothly flying to a destination; 6) integration of Google map technology for both forward and reverse geocoding users can look up a destination for the autopilot using an address or ground-truth their current location; 7) particle imaging (snow crystals, liquid droplets) and vertical profiling (dropsonde) virtual devices; 8) flight event recording and replay; 9) Web-based mission builder for user or instructor defined missions and assessments; and 10) point-of-interest annotation.

This project is funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF-IIS 0835411).