POL-AR/VR

The Polar Augmented & Virtual Reality (POL-AR/VR) Project

About

The POL-AR/VR Project is a data visualization endeavor to develop Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) applications for polar datasets that simultaneously function as outreach and scientific analysis tools. This is an interdisciplinary project, which involves earth scientists and computer scientists working together to integrate geospatially correct 3-Dimensional datasets in a Mixed Reality (XR) environment. This kind of data visualization can lead to elevated data interpretation and analysis.

Neurologically, the more senses one uses to explore a structure, the more efficient the brain is at interpreting it. Our XR applications involve gestures, handset controls, interactive data and menus, voice commands, real-time measurement tools, and more. Allowing the user to manipulate and measure the represented data creates an immersive experience that is difficult to achieve on a desktop computer. 3-D, geospatially correct, dataset integration contextualizes scale, interpretation, and real-world processes. Additionally, XR headsets like the Microsoft HoloLens and Oculus are fairly portable and intuitive to use, which allows our applications to be used for educational outreach, scientific communication, and collaborative explorative analysis.

Our mission with the POL-AR/VR Project is to continue developing Mixed Reality applications for datasets within the Arctic and Antarctic.

 

POL-AR/VR Applications

Inside the Ice Shelf: Zoom Antarctica was an Augmented Reality (AR) application developed for the Microsoft HoloLens1. Spearheaded by Martin Pratt and Alexandra Boghosian in 2018, Zoom Antarctica successfully combined LiDAR imagery, ice-penetrating radar imagery, Ross Ice Shelf topographical digital elevation models (DEMs) of the surface and bedrock. These datasets were geospatially correct and aligned with one another, displaying a 3-D rendering of the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica.

 

For more information, click this link: Inside the Ice Shelf Zoom Antarctica

The Greenland Project was a Mixed Reality (XR) application developed for the Microsoft HoloLens1 and Oculus Quest1. Spearheaded by Sofía Sanchez-Zarate, Carmine Elvezio, and Alexandra Boghosian in 2020, The Greenland Project successfully combined ice-penetrating radar imagery, Greenland topographical digital elevation models (DEMs) of the surface and bedrock, in-app measurement tools, cross-platform networking, and more. These datasets were geospatially correct and aligned with one another, displaying a 3-D rendering of the Ryder Ice Shelf in Greenland. The addition of data manipulation and measurement within a cooperative environment was crucial during a global pandemic.

 

For more information, click this link: The Greenland Project

AntARctica is a Mixed Reality (XR) application developed for the Microsoft HoloLens2 and Oculus Quest2. Spearheaded by the POL-V/AR interdisciplinary development team in 2021, AntARctica successfully combined ice-penetrating radar imagery, surface and bedrock topographical digital elevation models (DEMs), CSV thickness and surface measurements, and more. The application provided: real-time in-app measurement tools, transparency sliders, gesture controls, voice commands, and geographic information. This geospatially correct, 3-D representation of the Ross Ice Shelf and ROSETTA-Ice data allowed earth scientists, and laypeople alike, to explore the Antarctic ice shelf in depth. 

 

For more information, click this link: AntARctica

The PetARmann Project is currently underway! The name is also TBD…

 

Publications:

Inside the ice shelf: using augmented reality to visualise 3D lidar and radar data of Antarctica
Alexandra L. Boghosian,  Martin J. Pratt,  Maya K. Becker,  S. Isabel Cordero,  Tejendra Dhakal,  Jonathan Kingslake,  Caitlin D. Locke,  Kirsty J. Tinto, 
Robin E. Bell
Photogrammetric Record, vol. 34: pp. 346-364. 2019.
doi: 10.1111/phor.12298

Development of ice-shelf estuaries promotes fractures and calving
Alexandra L. Boghosian,  Lincoln H. Pitcher,  Laurence C. Smith,  Elena Kosh,  Patrick M. Alexander,  Marco Tedesco,  &  Robin E. Bell
Nature Geoscience, vol. 14: pp. 899-905. 2021.
doi: 10.1038/s41561-021-00837-7

 

 


 

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Old York Foundation, the Columbia Climate Center, Columbia School of Computer Sciences, and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.