A Web3D forest geo-visualization and user interface evaluation

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PubDate: June 2017

Teams: Virginia Tech

Writers: Haitao Wang;Xiaoyu Chen;Nicholas Polys;Peter Sforza

PDF: A Web3D forest geo-visualization and user interface evaluation

Abstract

In this study, we developed a workflow for the construction of WebGL rendering and interactive visualization of forest landscapes from GIS and forest simulation datasets. We constructed a realistic virtual forest environment for our study site in Virginia. This Web3D virtual environment, built with X3DOM and HTML5, is capable of fast real-time rendering and walk-through simulation based on two Level of Details (LOD) switching techniques, and interactive over mainstream web browsers without a plugin. We explored the performance of a navigation aid and two types of LOD cut-off functions in the forest geo-visualization. We used a hunting game search task to test the effect of our user interface features. According to the paired t-test results, the navigation aid significantly increasing participants’ performance, while the exponential cut-off and linear cut-off functions showed no significant difference from participants’ perspective.

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