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Type: Thesis
Type of Thesis: Master Thesis
Title: Immersive Virtual Reality Visualisation of the Arctic Clyde Inlet on Baffin Island (Canada) by Combining Bathymetric and Terrestrial Terrain Data
Authors: Lütjens, Mona
Issue Date: 2018
Keywords: Virtual Reality; Digital Elevation Model; Bathymetry
metadata.dc.subject.gnd: Virtuelle RealitätGND
Due to recent advances in hardware and software technologies, virtual reality (VR) is becoming ubiquitous, finding its use in more and more professional applications apart from the gaming industry. Up to now, VR could be successfully implemented for virtual surgery, virtual therapy, flight and vehicle simulations and cultural heritage. Through VR it is possible to virtually explore computer-generated environments and to be immersed into most unique and remote areas without leaving the current real-life situation.
While geographical datasets are commonly projected in a top-down view onto a 2D surface leading to cognitive challenges and ambiguous interpretations, virtual reality could become a helpful tool to visualise terrain data in a more intuitive way. This thesis explores the advantages, limitations and practical usages of such visualisations. Furthermore, the thesis explores the feasibility of virtual reality presentations in terms of accuracy and performance and investigates potential benefits for combining terrestrial and bathymetric datasets.
Against this background, the water body Clyde Inlet located on eastern Baffin Island, Canada has been visualised in virtual reality. A methodology has been conducted to merge terrestrial and bathymetric datasets and to import vast digital terrain models into the virtual reality software Unreal Engine 4. In this work, the digital terrain model comprising Clyde Inlet was computed using the open source datasets of ArcticDEM, Canadian DEM, IBCAO as well as the bathymetric dataset acquired during the research cruise MSM66 in 2017. The result offers the possibility to observe the terrain with or without the water surface in VR by using three different ways of locomotion. Moreover, distinct measurements can be performed, and terrain textures can be altered. Further results include the accurate import of terrain data and ample performance. With the aid of a user survey, the usability and utility of terrain visualisations in VR for various disciplines was assessed.
Subject Class (DDC): 550: Geowissenschaften
HCU-Faculty: Geodäsie und Geoinformatik 
URN (Citation Link): urn:nbn:de:gbv:1373-opus-4361
Directlink: https://repos.hcu-hamburg.de/handle/hcu/153
Language: English
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