Geographical tools and techniques are readily available, however, new and novel methods need to be constantly developed to deliver effective means for information dissemination and consumption, to promote enhanced learning and to facilitate knowledge management for dealing with complex phenomena such as the growth of cities and wicked problems brought on by global population growth and climate change. There are also significant multi-faceted, big data sets being produced through crowd-sourcing and social media and the further opening of government data repositories.
There is a need for new theories and techniques in the field of geographical visualisation and virtual reality to assist in the exploration of such data. Also, there are many techniques for visualising geographical phenomena but understanding the effectiveness and efficiency of these for exploring data to aid hypotheses generation and for communicating to end users requires further research. Virtual reality and augmented reality for exploring phenomena considering dimensions of space, place and time represent a number of research challenges for the working group to consider.
ISPRS WG IV/9 aims to advance the fields of geographic visualization, virtual/augmented reality and geovisual analytics with the highest scientific standards, and best practices. Our goal is to cover science, design and technology perspectives in relation to all scientific domains that are related to geovisualization and virtual reality. Our mission includes the specific points below:
- Engaging in science, research, education and training, and capacity building, in line with the overall strategy of the ISPRS
- Transferring knowledge and expertise through conferences, workshops, publications and other appropriate online and offline channels
- Collaborating with other ISPRS commissions and working groups, and sister societies (e.g., the ICA, GeoforAll, AAG)
- Development and evaluation of new virtual and augmented reality tools for exploring phenomena considering dimensions of space, place and time, and promoting their use
- Exploring new visualization techniques and tools for visualizing:
- Heterogeneous geographical data coming from high-resolution sensors (e.g. images, 3D models, LiDAR, raw data, etc.)
- Building information modelling (BIM) within a traditional geographic information system (GIS)
- Big data sets produced through crowd-sourcing and social media and the further opening of government data repositories
- Investigating the effectiveness and usefulness of various geovisualizations, geovisual analytics software environments and virtual/augmented reality applications, e.g., regarding visual complexity and decision-making processes