Immersive Geographies: Mixed Reality Technologies Applied in Urban Data Visualization Projects
Gareth Young, SCSS
4-5pm 17th Oct 2019
The mixed reality (MR) modality can be used in multiple contexts to merge the physical world with the virtual, entangling the tangible environments of everyday real-life with computer-mediated digital worlds. As a multimodal urban data visualization tool, MR data visualizations lend themselves to the exploration of new approaches to open-data; data-sets that include 3D spatializations, real-time sensor networks, and historical data relating to city-specific regions and urban areas. In this paper, we focus on the implementation of new MR technologies, such as virtual and augmented reality, for visualizing urban data in immersive, 3D environments. We consider the issues that contemporary urban data visualization projects, such as city dashboards, must overcome to guarantee their impact as they incorporate elements of immersion, interaction, and imagination in emergent systems. Furthermore, while lending themselves to extending or supplementing interactions with existing forms of urban data, when utilized in relation to their own specific affordances, MR technologies can also offer novel and qualitatively different experiences of the data they mediate.
Previously, Gareth worked as a postdoctoral researcher on the Building City Dashboards project in the National Centre for Geocomputation (NCG) at Maynooth University. In this role, he was responsible for assessing the design effectiveness of city dashboards and examining alternative and multimodal platforms. He also contributed his passion for gaming and his expertise in HCI to the projects augmented and virtual reality projects. Gareth's previous research has also focussed on the implementation and evaluation of haptic feedback for Digital Musical Instruments. He is a seasoned sound engineer, part-time digital artist, casual composer, and avid gamer.