Case Study - University of East Anglia


University of East Anglia

The Zuckerman Institute for Connective Environmental Research at the University of East Anglia (UEA) is housed in a five storey building with the VR suite and a PC laboratory for decision-making experiments in its basement.

The School of Environmental Sciences holds the highest 5* grade in the research assessment exercise, denoting international excellence, and the highest government grading of excellence for its teaching.

Dr. Andrew Lovett, a Senior Lecturer in UEA’s School of Environmental Sciences, explained: “In order to see how landscapes may be affected by factors such as agri-environmental schemes, climate change and coastal management plans, we knew we would need a large screen that enabled 3D visualisation of interactive scenarios in both stereoscopic and monoscopic modes. We were all very impressed by the technical solution proposed by Virtalis. It was clear they had really considered our decision making requirements and how they might be addressed.”


Drawing on our ActiveWorks technology, Virtalis created a three projector system, with a 125° curved screen. Environmental 3D content draws on GIS data and satellite imagery as source data from which a database is created using TerraVista. This is subsequently rendered in real-time by Quantum3D’s PC image generator, Independence II. All aspects of the display, including the lighting and sound, are fully integrated and controlled by a simple, hand held touch screen for maximum usability. The system will also enable groups to vote using keypads, with the screen providing instantaneous feedback.

The new VR facility was put to work straight away on two research projects. The first of these analysed coastal futures in East Anglia, while the second, “Water4All” looked into how land use change affects nitrate levels in groundwater.

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