Immersive II: Immersive Technologies for Natural Hazards and Climate Change Communication

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Climate Specialty Group, Geographic Information Science and Systems Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Washington 3, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Organizers: Mark Simpson, Jase Bernhardt, David Retchless
Chairs: Mark Simpson

Call for Submissions

Please register and submit a paper abstract. Send us your abstract PIN as well as your abstract (250 words max) for participation in this session before October 26, 2018. Email contact:


Immersive technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) offer new opportunities to communicate vital information about natural hazards/climate change to both experts and the public. Information about potential hazards are often complex and uncertain, making it difficult to communicate their potential danger. Immersive technologies allow for powerful and compelling experiences, but there are many challenges in depicting realistic and scientifically valid scenarios.

Technology remains a challenge. Much of the software for creating immersive experiences does not interface with traditional spatial data tools or data types, requiring time consuming and often ad-hoc adaptations. Current tools include Unity3D and Unreal game engines for VR, ARKit and ARCore for AR, and Mapbox and ESRI’s City Engine for 3D geospatial visualization.

Many questions remain about the efficacy of immersive tools for communicating risks, and subsequent impact on decision making. For instance, how to communicate uncertainty? How much realism or abstraction is necessary or appropriate? How do such tools interact with traditional communication methods, such as evacuation advisories or flood maps?

This session seeks work that concerns the interface between natural hazards/climate change and immersive virtual reality, which includes but is not limited to:
3D visualization, virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality
Virtual Geographic Environments (VGEs)
Interfaces and interaction techniques
Efficacy and evaluations of experiences
Workflows and techniques for creating virtual experiences
Integration of geospatial data in immersive experiences
Communicating uncertainty
Visualization and modelling of hazards and climate change


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter David Retchless*, Texas A&M University at Galveston, Map and augmented reality views of storm surge flooding: Results from pilot studies evaluating effects of perspective on risk perceptions and engagement 20 3:05 PM
Presenter Jase Bernhardt*, Hofstra University, Communicating Hurricane Risk with Virtual Reality: Strategies for Improving Warnings 20 3:25 PM
Presenter Mark Simpson*, Pennsylvania State University, Immersive Storm Surge and Risk Perception 20 3:45 PM
Presenter Chuanbo Hu*, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Mingyuan Hu, Institute of Space and Earth Information Science, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China , Hui Lin, Institute of Space and Earth Information Science, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China , A human-activity-scenario-based Modeling Method for Collaborative Simulation and Evaluation in Virtual Geographic Environments 20 4:05 PM
Discussant Mark Simpson Pennsylvania State University 20 4:25 PM

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