No coding expertise is necessary for multiple users to drive our complex computer models. By directly interacting with a physical surface, they can use intuitive hand motions to make decisions and change model parameters.
Our developers constantly innovate ways to interact with tangible user interfaces, creating new means to input information with physical objects, steer models and visualize outputs in virtual reality. Their work is all open source.
Learning and Cognition
We study how tangible user interfaces can support teaching geospatial concepts, lower students' cognitive load when learning new tasks and facilitate information-sharing within groups facing a common objective.
A Signature Tool, for All
Developed at the Center for Geospatial Analytics by members of the GeoForAll Lab, Tangible Landscape is an open source interface for 3D sketching powered by GRASS GIS, and one of our signature technologies.
The system couples a physical model of a landscape with a digital model of the same landscape in a geographic information system through a continuous cycle of 3D scanning, geospatial computation and projection in near real time.
With this innovative technology, almost anyone can intuitively interact with processes such as water flow, erosion, solar radiation, flooding, fire spread, disease spread and urban growth to experimentally test interventions. Users can examine viewsheds, design trails, sculpt landforms and more, even creating serious games for collaborative decision-making.
Our researchers innovate new ways of interacting with Tangible Landscape, create new applications using the tool to aid decision-making and study how tangible user interfaces can support learning and communication.
Learn more about the interdisciplinary researchers advancing work at this frontier:Faculty at the frontier
Build your own Tangible Landscape
We strive to build an open science community who share research findings and techniques. Learn from our experts how to build and deploy your own open source Tangible Landscape, and start exploring the possibilities of tangible modeling yourself.
Second Edition of Tangible Modeling Book Released
The second edition of Tangible Modeling with Open Source GIS provides new tools for running powerful geospatial simulations with physical models and 3D imagery.
Tangible Landscape Research Honored
Research led by Geospatial Analytics doctoral student Garrett Millar was ranked among the top 5% of papers submitted to the 2018 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, the premier international conference for Human-Computer Interaction.