Explorations in the Use of Augmented Reality for Geographic Visualization

There is a small but significant difference that could make augmented reality boom or bust when it comes to GIS. It is the same problem that architects and engineers once faced as well. Only with the advent of computers and monitors were they able to rest their neck and sit down in a chair instead of hunching over a drafting board all day. GIS, for the most part, wasn’t subjected to such a fate.

Augmented reality could change that. Even now, similar displays are available to the public in shopping malls and showrooms, using the same table top, infrared projector method outlined in the article. What sets the visitors apart from GIS users is that they only use it for a couple of minutes at a time. As any GIS user knows, geospatial analysis rarely takes a short amount of time.

In light of that, augmented reality will need to make the jump from top-down to heads-up display before it makes significant inroads into the industry.

What part of the methodology that left something to be desired was the need for the user to place a flash card down on each section of the table that they wanted to view supplementary information at. Why not just display all the data at once? If it’s a matter of computing power, that is a simple fix. If, however, it is intrinsic to the software framework, it would greatly benefit the project if, instead of viewing a small section of a large map, the exocentric viewpoint was zoomed in to a smaller…bigger(?) scale so the data took up the extent of the display. After all, whens the last time you squinted at a map of the island of Montreal when trying to figure out how far your house is from the nearest depanneur.


Tags: ,

Comments are closed.