Geological visualisation while working in the field often requires expensive specialised equipment that is conventiolly hard to master. Knowledge and prior experience of the specific techniques and formats used by the different devices is required to create data. This paper presents a new method that applies Augmented Reality (AR) with generic smart phones and tablets to view existing geological data sets. AR is an emerging technology that is a synthesised hybrid between the virtual world and the real world. Here, this method negates the need to understand mapping techniques when referencing three- dimensiol (3D) models to the above ground terrain. Geologists can explore subterranean phenomenon with datasets visually laid accurately over the environment so the need to reference diagrams and maps to the physical world while in the field is no longer necessary. Geologists can see data as though it were part of the environment, alogous to giving them x-ray vision in the field. We present a prototype that can be applied in fields of education or as device to assist the mining industry to enhance understanding of subterranean geological structures. For example, volcanic structures, faults and fractures can be seen as they would appear from the surface or mine data such as tunnels, ventilation, ore bodies and rock types. AR techniques used for geological visualisation in the field is a new application area with potential for wider commercial applications.
NBiS 2012 (2012)
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