Spring 2021 - GEOG 457 D100

Geovisualization Interfaces (4)

Class Number: 2792

Delivery Method: Remote

Overview

  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    REMOTE LEARNING, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    GEOG 356.

Description

CALENDAR DESCRIPTION:

The concepts, theories, and technology behind interactive and immersive interface technologies used for geospatial visualization. Applications and implications for GIScience and spatial knowledge acquisition. Combines GIScience, spatial cognition, and virtual environments/interface research perspectives. Students with credit for GEOG 457 (STT) Geospatial Virtual Environments in fall 2005 or fall 2006 may not take this course for further credit.

COURSE DETAILS:

There is an emerging ecosystem of interface technologies (such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR), and extended reality (XR)) that can deliver unprecedented ways to view, explore, manipulate, query, and experience multidimensional visualizations of data and spatial phenomena. These spatial interface technologies are going to transform the way we interact with spatial data and phenomena.

GEOG 457 explores and demonstrates the capabilities of cutting-edge 3D geospatial interfaces, and their significance for geovisual analysis and spatial information experiences in 21st Century GIScience. The emphasis of this course will be on exploring a compelling range of interface technologies for 21st century spatial data visualization – some in everyday space, some in virtual space, and some which may change the very nature of practice.

Students will embark on an exploration of emerging technologies, including: virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR), extended reality (XR). We will consider how they have been (and could be) used for 3D/4D geovisualization, geovisual analysis, simulation and 3D GIScience, across a range of applied contexts (such as archaeology, earth science, coastal and marine science). We will explore the use of interfaces, interaction design in experiential 3D data/simulations from Dr. Hedley’s various research projects, including: coastal dynamics: rapid-onset hazards: fluvial geomorphology: rigid-body slope mechanics; AI crowd simulations; 3D ecological monitoring on the seafloor; and off-planet field sites such as Mars.

Students will experience remote demonstrations of 3D geovisualization development, using: serious game engines; 3D physics-based geo-simulations; mobile and single-user virtual reality (VR); room-scale immersive VR; tangible augmented reality (TAR); mobile augmented reality (MAR); augmented GIS and geovisual analytics; 360 VR for geographic narratives. These demonstrations will use: HTC Vive; Oculus Quest; mixed reality using mobile devices; Hololens.

Given the unique circumstance of remote learning during COVID-19, we will pay particular attention to interfaces that can deliver meaningful remote information experiences, teleporting distance physical spaces into a user’s current location, or teleporting the user to distant worlds. We will also explore the potential of these interfaces for COVID-19.

Activities in this course will incorporate 3D capture technologies, including LiDAR, Structure from Motion (SfM), structured light sensing, and emerging ways to simulate complex spatial processes, using 3D physics, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), and artificial intelligence (AI).

Students will be introduced to the technology, methods, concepts and implications of interface research and HCI – applied to 3D geovisual analysis and spatial interface design and implementation. We will explore interface research concepts and interaction design in order to explore new ways to enable users to interact with geographic data representations of phenomena in 3D geospatial interfaces.

We will consider how emerging technologies may fundamentally change the way we explore and experience geographic data representations, and the spaces in which people interact with, and consume spatial information. We will consider their implications for GIScience, geovisual analytics, human-computer interaction, interface design and spatial cognition. We will explore radical ideas emerging from these possibilities, including extended reality, mixed reality GIScience and geovisual analytics, metaverses, mediated realities, cyborg theory, and using everyday space as a spatial computing interface.

This course provides students with practical knowledge of many interface technologies, their application to geospatial problems, the perceptual/cognitive experiences they enable. Students who complete this course are uniquely prepared to design future spatial information interfaces, and to contribute to the future of interface-mediated GIScience.

Prerequisites

The typical prerequisite is GEOG 356. However, I will consider requests to waive this requirement, on a case-by-case basis – based on student’s skills/experience. Students will not be trained in conventional GIS in GEOG457. That background is assumed.

Activities

Students will be guided through knowledge- and skill-building activities – focused through applied problem-solving contexts tuned to students who take this course. These may include: environmental change; social science; human dynamics; urban development; archaeology and cultural heritage; Earth science; natural hazards; data from Mars; and many more!

Course organization

For Spring 2021, due to COVID-19, GEOG 457 will be delivered in a new, remote format: Weekly online video Episodes will introduce concepts, methods, demonstrations.; a weekly Unpack the Episode discussion session; a video introduction and instructions at the start of each training module - for hands-on training in methods, labs and course assignments, and demonstrations.; weekly group video Q&A with a TA.  Lectures and labs will be used flexibly to introduce and demonstrate 3D concepts, data, methods, visual analysis and interface technologies. Students in this course will be supported by assigned readings, discussion, position papers, hands-on exercises, demonstrations of 3D methods and interface technologies, and applied examples. Students will be polled so that content and activities can be tuned to the specific interests and objectives of the students enrolled.

Course objectives

This class is designed as an accessible, stimulating and fun course for a wide range of students – organized in a modular format. Lectures and labs will be used flexibly to introduce spatial interface concepts and ideas, demonstrate a range of spatial interfaces, discuss the technologies and experiences, discuss the design and rationale for using different interfaces in applied contexts. Assignments have been newly designed to be pragmatic, and achievable in students’ busy schedules, while delivering rich training and experience.

COURSE LOGISTICS FOR MEANINGFUL REMOTE LEARNING EXPERIENCES

IMPORTANT INFORMATION TO HELP YOU UNDERSTAND HOW GEOG 457 WILL WORK REMOTELY:

During Fall 2021, Federal and Provincial guidelines require us to adapt conventional formats to a remote delivery format. While this remoteness is critical to keeping everyone safe and healthy, I am determined that this course can and will be meaningful, engaging, and worthwhile for all students and their education/training. In the following sections, the scope of the course components, and how they will work remotely, are described…

REMOTE LECTURES, LABS AND EXAMS

Lectures as weekly Episodes

In order to maximize the ability of all students to connect with and experience lecture material as a narrative from me, rather than online PDF notes, my lecture materials will be made available as weekly video ‘episodes’. These episodes will allow students to benefit from a narrative of emerging interface technologies, using 3D data, 3D GIScience and 3D Geovisualization ideas, concepts, methods and perspective. In each episode, technologies, concepts, methods and applications will be introduced, explained, demonstrated, discussed and critiqued. You will also be introduced to applied workflows, through presentation/demonstration of past and current projects, including discussion of ‘lessons learned’, and project management skills.

Producing lectures as online videos, means that they will be accessible/downloadable from our online class platform (Canvas), allowing asynchronous viewing/ playback/pausing/viewing/review control for everyone, to suit each student’s personal schedule.

Note that we are also going to try new, first-of-their-kind ways to remotely experience/deliver some of the demos/course content!

Weekly live discussion in Unpack the Episode

It is also essential, however, that you (my students!) can benefit from live discussion and clarification of lecture topics and questions. Therefore, I will also host weekly ‘Unpack the Episode’ live video discussion. These meetings will be held during GEOG 457’s scheduled ‘lecture time’. These meetings will use Canvas BB collaborate Ultra, and/or Zoom.

Remote Labs

Once a week you will have assigned lab training activities. Labs are intended as a technical apprenticeship in a repertoire of 3D interface,  data, simulation and visualization methods, running parallel to lectures, and informed by the ideas, concepts and perspectives discussed in lecture. Labs will begin in Week 2. In Week 1, I will poll students to check on resources (including personal/off-campus computing access) to participate in and complete labs, so that we can identify and put in place a plan for maximum student experience, and success.

UNDERSTANDING THE FORMAT OF REMOTE LABS IN SPRING 2021

Each topic/training module in lab will be kicked off with a video introduction/presentation. (This video will also serve as an instructional reference and be made accessible on Canvas). Accompanying the video, will be a set of digital notes providing instructions to follow for each training module. Some guidelines will be very step-by-step, while others will intentionally challenge you to figure out solutions to problems. All meaningful training and experience!

Each week, we will hold remote video Q&A in support of lab work, lab section-by-section. Note that this will be conducted in the most efficient way possible – preferably as specific topics/questions presented to groups of students requesting support.

We reserve the right to modify the format of these instructional materials/resources if, through the process of remote lab delivery, we perceive there to be more effective ways to maximize student experiences, and everyone’s time efficiency.

UNDERSTANDING THE LOGISTICS OF REMOTE COMPUTING IN LABS IN SPRING 2021

Normally, these labs are conducted as in-person sessions in physical computing labs, with software installed on PCs. In this new remote context, computing will have to be done remotely. There are 2 options to achieve this:

Option 1: student uses off-campus computer to access SFU computing labs (and installed GIS/3D software), via internet.

Option 2: students download and install a local copies of software on their personal machine.

We will tune the lab/training to students’ computing/access context, using primarily open-source software and cloud processing as much as possible. We will discuss each student’s computing situation with them in Week 1, to determine best course of action for maximum positive experience in this class.

UNDERSTANDING THE LOGISTICS OF REMOTE EXAMS and QUIZZES IN SPRING 2021

Quizzes and exams will both be administered remotely, through Canvas. The schedule will be synchronous (i.e. typically during the respective scheduled class timeslot or within an assignment cycle).

FINAL PROJECT

A key component of this course will be the production of a small portfolio-quality applied project. The final project enables you to integrate and demonstrate the skills/methods (and thinking) you have learned, focused through one of a collection of applied thematic topics (designed/tuned to the interests of students in the course). Deliverables will be presented/submitted digitally.

EXPECTATIONS

Student conduct and integrity:

We expect all students to hold themselves to the highest standards of scholarly practice and integrity. Your work should be completed by YOU and nobody else. We reserve the right to use plagiarism detection software. Here’s why you should not attempt to cheat in this remote course. Even if you get away with cheating on tests or deliverables now, it WILL come back to bite you in the future, when, despite getting a good grade in this or other remote courses, you don’t ‘know your stuff’ when it is put to the test in future courses, job interviews, or jobs. Do yourself a favor - thrive in this course through your own effort, a positive attitude, and with maximum integrity.

Recommended familiarity

For maximum benefit, students should be familiar and comfortable with the Windows desktop environment especially using files and folders in Windows and navigating to folders and files from within specific applications; we expect students to have a working knowledge of either ArcGIS or QGIS. You will be using a range of tools, converting data and moving them between different software packages.

OVERVIEW OF EDUCATIONAL GOALS & ANTICIPATED OUTCOMES

Students completing this course, students will be:

  1. a) knowledgeable about how emerging geovisualization technologies raise new opportunities for representing and visualizing geographic spaces;
  2. b) knowledgeable about the use of several VR, AR, MR, display devices, control systems and interface technologies;
  3. c) experienced in the use of 3D spatial data, using 3D laser scanning (LiDAR); Structure-from-Motion (SfM); and other 3D capture and data processing technologies;
  4. d) trained in how to design and implement 3D geovisualization interfaces of their own, using VR/AR;
  5. e) able to combine 2D and 3D spatial analysis with interactive 3D visualization interfaces;
  6. f) trained in multi-platform workflow to develop 3D geovisualizations and 3D interfaces;
  7. g) trained in spatial project design and management skills;
  8. h) able to integrate 3D spatial data and geovisualization methods and thinking into their future work.
  9. i) able to build and integrate 3D interfaces into their future work.

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT GEOG 457, FIT, CLARIFICATION…

PLEASE EMAIL Dr. Nick Hedley at hedley@sfu.ca




 





COURSE-LEVEL EDUCATIONAL GOALS:

Students completing this course, students will be:

  1. a) knowledgeable about how emerging geovisualization technologies (VR, MR, AR, XR) raise new opportunities (and challenges) for representing and visualizing geographic spaces;
  2. b) knowledgeable in the use of several VR, AR, MR, display devices, control systems and interface technologies;
  3. c) experienced in the use of 3D spatial data, using 3D laser scanning (LiDAR); Structure-from-Motion (SfM); and other 3D capture and data processing technologies;
  4. d) trained in how to design and implement 3D geovisualization interfaces of their own, using VR/AR;
  5. e) able to combine 2D and 3D spatial analysis with interactive 3D visualization interfaces;
  6. f) trained in multi-platform workflow to develop 3D geovisualizations and 3D interfaces;
  7. g) trained in spatial project design and management skills;
  8. h) able to integrate 3D spatial data and geovisualization methods and thinking into their future work.
  9. i) able to build and integrate 3D interfaces into their future work.

Grading

  • Hands-on lab activities/assignments 50%
  • An applied ‘geoviz mini project’ 25%
  • Exam (synchronous) 25%

NOTES:

GRADE SCALE

A+

97 or higher

A

91-96

 

A-

85-90

 

B+

80-84

 

B

75-79

 

B-

70-74

 

C+

65-69

 

C

60-64

 

C-

55-59

 

D

50-54

 

F

0-49

 

Materials

MATERIALS + SUPPLIES:

Technological expectations:

Given the need for remote computing in the ongoing COVID-19 situation, students should thoroughly evaluate the computing resources (computer; internet access and bandwidth) that they will have access to for Spring 2021. See details above. We will poll students in Week 1 to make sure everyone has a feasible arrangement with which to successfully access/perform lab work.

RECOMMENDED READING:

There is no primary textbook for this course.

Curated reading assignments and support materials will be provided throughout the semester.


Registrar Notes:

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: YOUR WORK, YOUR SUCCESS

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html

TEACHING AT SFU IN SPRING 2021

Teaching at SFU in spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).