TanGeoMS: Tangible geospatial modeling system

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We present TanGeoMS, a tangible geospatial modeling visualization system that couples a laser scanner, projector, and a flexible physical three-dimensional model with a standard geospatial information system (GIS) to create a tangible user interface for terrain data. TanGeoMS projects an image of real-world data onto a physical terrain model. Users can alter the topography of the model by modifying the clay surface or placing additional objects on the surface. The modified model is captured by an overhead laser scanner then imported into a GIS for analysis and simulation of real-world processes. The results are projected back onto the surface of the model providing feedback on the impact of the modifications on terrain parameters and simulated processes. Interaction with a physical model is highly intuitive, allowing users to base initial design decisions on geospatial data, test the impact of these decisions in GIS simulations, and use the feedback to improve their design. We demonstrate the system on three applications: investigating runoff management within a watershed, assessing the impact of storm surge on barrier islands, and exploring landscape rehabilitation in military training areas. © 2006 IEEE.

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IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics

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