Datapages, Inc.Print this page

Click to view complete article

3D Mobile Visualization Techniques in Field Geology Interpretation: Evaluation of Modern Tablet Applications

Layik Hama¹, Roy A Ruddle², and Douglas Paton³
¹PhD student, Visualization and Virtual Reality Group, School of Computing, University of Leeds, UK
²Supervisor, Director of Research, School of Computing, University of Leeds, UK
³Co-supervisor, Institute of Geophysics & Tectonics, School of Earth & Environment, University of Leeds, UK


Higher education institutions still rely on traditional tools when taking students out for their fieldtrips such as geological notebooks and printed maps. These traditional methods have been and are creating difficulties for students and novice geologists comprehending geology they study in the field (Whitmeyer, Feely et al. 2009).

However, an increasing number of higher education institutions worldwide are convinced that the use of geo-technologies such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and other technologies are fundamental to prepare students for their future careers (Kerski 2008).

A set of tasks carried out by professional geologist are deemed necessary for novice geologists to look out for and learn in the work by student geologists which demand high spatial skills(Kastens and Ishikawa 2006).

In their previous work (Kastens and Ishikawa 2004) acknowledge that many adults have difficulty with locating themselves on maps, which is an essential task in fieldwork. For more complicated tasks novice geologists have to learn to visualize the third dimension from two-dimensional maps (Rapp, Culpepper et al. 2007; Whitmeyer, Feely et al. 2009). Liben and Titus (2012) mention three reasons for these difficulties by novice geologists: nature of geological data and representations, students arrive without developed spatial skills and educators fail to realize the second.

One of the most important remedies of these cognitive and sometimes practical difficulties have been and still is taking students out to the field (Whitmeyer, Feely et al. 2009) to improve their spatial skills. The importance of information technology to aid these cognitive and meta-cognitive skills have been acknowledged by (Herbert 2006). Therefore modern digital field techniques may be able to assist novice geologists with these difficulties.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #120140© 2014 AAPG Hedberg Conference 3D Structural Geologic Interpretation: Earth, Mind and Machine, June 23-27, 2013, Reno, Nevada