There is an almost infinite number of examples of VR content that is pushed on the market with new and exciting opportunities being added on a daily basis. We have selected a couple that we are looking at in a little more detail.
Google Cardboard / WITHIN
We have sent you a Google Cardboard. It is actually a slightly more advanced version than the standard one and it does help to adjust the distance between the lenses. If you are using Google Cardboard, there are many, many options to choose from that offer you content from Google itself but also other VR companies such as Within. You are strongly encouraged to explore content on your own! As one of the assignments we would like to give you, please watch the 360° video offered by Within called Clouds over Sidra. You can watch it either in the Cardboard viewer, or, if you prefer or have not received your viewer yet, you can also watch it on your phone without the viewer, or through other VR headsets, or on your computer via the web. The video Clouds over Sidra has been embedded below for your convenience.
Video: WITHIN 360° Video, Clouds Over Sidra (8:35)
To watch this 360 video you can click on the video, visit WITHIN or download and use the WITHIN app for a cardboard experience (recommended).
When watching the video, especially in the Cardboard / immersive headset option, take note on a couple of things:
- How does filming a 360° video change how you follow the storyline of the video. Take note of aspects of the video that may or may not be unintentional.
- What is the role that audio plays in watching the video and providing guidance on what to focus on (it is best to use headphones).
- What does being immersed add to the video, how do your attention and your connection to the place change?
- Did you try watching the video standing? I personally feel that it adds to my sense of place (and the camera was at a somewhat higher viewpoint).
- Anything else?
All major technology companies are investing heavily in 3D/VR technology. Google’s Expeditions Pioneer Program is one example. Expeditions is a professional virtual reality platform that is built for the classroom. Google has teamed up with teachers and content partners from around the world to create more than 150 engaging journeys - making it easy to immerse students in entirely new experiences. Feel free to explore. This tool is geared toward classroom experiences but may offer some insights into how geography education may change in the future. Maybe geography will return to the K12 curriculum?
New York Times Virtual Reality (NYT VR)
The New York Times, as one of the first major news providers, has created an NYT VR app that can be downloaded for both Apple and Android platforms.
The app can be used in combination with Google Cardboard or any other viewer that accepts your smartphone. By now all major news corporations have 360-degree video offerings.
Graded Assignment: 3D/VR Project Review
Find two examples of 3D/VR projects other than the ones discussed above and write a short paragraph about each. In this exercise, you should select projects that you find exciting and reflect on why you think they will change the geospatial sciences, how information is communicated or made accessible, how people will be able to understand places across space and time differently, etc. Projects do not have to be movies but can address any 3D/VR topics somewhat related to geospatial.
Please upload your assignment by 11:59 p.m. Tuesday.
Guidelines and Writing Rubric
In your reflection make sure that you answer the following questions:
- Which aspects of the geospatial sciences will be affected most?
- There are many other aspects to consider such as communicating and sharing health information, fostering social engagement, communicating climate change. Which field do you think will be affected most?
- Does the length of the videos play a role? How long can you watch movies as immersive experiences?
|Criteria||Full Credit||Half Credit||No Credit||Possible Points|
|Examples provided are different from course examples.||2 pts||1 pts||0 pts||2 pts|
|Link to the website/app and description of the platform through which the student experienced the movie is provided.||1 pts||.5 pts||0 pts||1 pts|
|Reflection is well thought out, researched, organized, and answers the questions posed in the lesson.||4 pts||2 pts||0 pts||4 pts|
|The document is grammatically correct, typo-free and cited where necessary.||1 pts||.5 pts||0 pts||1 pts|
|Total Points: 8|