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Mobile 3D Visualization Techniques in Field Geology Education

Hama, Layik (2016) Mobile 3D Visualization Techniques in Field Geology Education. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Despite the fact that we are in the mobile computing age, student geologists still carry out geological fieldwork using centuries old tools and techniques. This thesis investigates the question “how can 3D visualization on smartphones and tablets help students learn during geological fieldwork?” To answer this question, the thesis first reviews the types of difficulty encountered by novice geologists, narrowing it down to one particular issue: the extrapolation of 2D geological features into the 3D real world. The tasks carried out by novice geologists during introductory fieldwork were analysed systemically. This thesis then explored how apps from Android and iOS app stores may be used in the field to carry out such tasks. The overall finding is that there is limited work focused on novice geologists' difficulties during fieldwork, particularly 2D to 3D extrapolation. Then, using a perception test, the options of representing a single strike and dip measurement in a 3D environment is explored. The results of the test was that there were more accurate methods to represent a measurement than a traditional symbol (e.g. a T-shape). Then, a hypothesis was evaluated which states that instead of using 2D geological maps alone, a 3D visualization of strike and dip measurements plotted on them can assist students in understanding geological structures. The thesis then outlines functionality of a prototype that can be used by higher education institutions as a foundation for a novice geologists' field app. Key findings of the present work are: there has been no apps developed with focus on issues faced by novice geologists doing fieldwork during the time of this study. There was only British Geological Survey's iGeology3D which was released at the time of the study which focused on 3D visualization of geological data to be used in the field. In a separate study an iPad2 was found to be accurate enough for taking strike and dip measurements. In a perception experiment a 3D visualization of strike and dip was deemed to be better for comprehending structural orientation of outcrops but found to be no better than other 2D shapes. Finally, an experiment comparing the use of 2D maps versus 2D maps overlaid with 3D visualization of structural data, the latter found to be more effective for structural interpretation by novice geologists.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: 3D visualization, geological fieldwork, novice geologists
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Engineering (Leeds) > School of Computing (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.707043
Depositing User: Mr L Hama
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2017 11:42
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2018 09:54
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/16640

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