An environmental exploration system for visual scenario analysis of regional hydro-meteorological systems


We propose a framework for the 3D exploration of heterogeneous environmental data within a geographical region of interest. Based on Unity, the system can be built for a variety of platforms and works both on regular machines as well as in virtual reality environments, where it can be considered a basis for a virtual geographic environment. Focussing on the catchment of the Müglitz River in south-eastern Germany, a large collection of observation data acquired via a wide range of measurement devices has been integrated in a geographical reference frame for the region. Results of area-wide numerical simulations for both groundwater and soil moisture have been added to the scene and allow for the exploration of the delayed consequences of transient phenomena such as heavy rainfall events and their impact on the catchment scale. This study focusses on the concurrent visualisation and synchronised animation of multiple area wide datasets from different environmental compartments. The resulting application allows to explore the region of interest during specific hydrological events for an assessment of the interrelation of processes. As such, it offers the opportunity for knowledge transfer between researchers of different domains as well as for outreach to an interested public.

Computers & Graphics