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Article

Designing a Virtual Arboretum as an Immersive, Multimodal, Interactive, Data Visualization Virtual Field Trip

Games and Interactive Media, Nicholson School of Communication and Media, University of Central Florida, 4000 Central Florida Blvd, Orlando, FL 32816-8005, USA
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Academic Editor: Cristina Portalés Ricart
Multimodal Technol. Interact. 2021, 5(4), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/mti5040018
Received: 3 February 2021 / Revised: 30 March 2021 / Accepted: 6 April 2021 / Published: 9 April 2021
This paper describes a virtual field trip application as a new type of immersive, multimodal, interactive, data visualization of a virtual arboretum. Deployed in a game engine, it is a large, open-world simulation, representing 100 hectares and ideal for use when free choice in navigation and high fidelity are required. Although the computer graphics are photorealistic, it is different and unique from other applications that use game art or 2D 360-degree video, because it reflects high information fidelity as a result of the domain expert review, and the integration of geographic information system (GIS) data with drone images. Combined in-game as a data visualization, it is ideal for generating past or future worlds, in addition to representations of the present. Fusing information from many data sources—terrain data, waterbody data, plant inventory, population density data, accurate plant models, bioacoustics, and drone images—its design process and methods could be repeated and used in a wide range of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) applications and devices. Results on presence, embodiment, emotions, engagement, and learning are summarized from prior pilot studies for context on use, and are relevant to schools, museums, arboretums, and botanical gardens interested in developing immersive informal learning applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: arboretum; augmented reality; data visualization; ecology; immersive informal learning; interactive; multimodal; virtual field trips; virtual museums; virtual reality arboretum; augmented reality; data visualization; ecology; immersive informal learning; interactive; multimodal; virtual field trips; virtual museums; virtual reality
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MDPI and ACS Style

Harrington, M.C.R.; Bledsoe, Z.; Jones, C.; Miller, J.; Pring, T. Designing a Virtual Arboretum as an Immersive, Multimodal, Interactive, Data Visualization Virtual Field Trip. Multimodal Technol. Interact. 2021, 5, 18. https://doi.org/10.3390/mti5040018

AMA Style

Harrington MCR, Bledsoe Z, Jones C, Miller J, Pring T. Designing a Virtual Arboretum as an Immersive, Multimodal, Interactive, Data Visualization Virtual Field Trip. Multimodal Technologies and Interaction. 2021; 5(4):18. https://doi.org/10.3390/mti5040018

Chicago/Turabian Style

Harrington, Maria C.R., Zack Bledsoe, Chris Jones, James Miller, and Thomas Pring. 2021. "Designing a Virtual Arboretum as an Immersive, Multimodal, Interactive, Data Visualization Virtual Field Trip" Multimodal Technologies and Interaction 5, no. 4: 18. https://doi.org/10.3390/mti5040018

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