Learning by doing ... the ‘Augmented Reality Sandbox’ | CREST project

Learning by doing ... the ‘Augmented Reality Sandbox’

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Learning by doing ... the ‘Augmented Reality Sandbox’

Added on 2017-08-21
Unleashing storms on the Belgian coast and investigating their effect on a changing coastline all by yourself? It is possible! The Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) makes it happen with an Augmented Reality Sandbox (ARS).

This project aims at illustrating how the Belgian coast is protected against the sea, which measures are taken and if they are adequate when facing the 1000-year storm event.
The ARS combines 3D image processing applications with an ordinary sandbox. Projected on the sand surface is an elevation map with topographic contour lines and colour coded height zones which match the relief in the sandbox. The changes made to the surface while ‘playing’ with the sand are registered and processed immediately in order to dynamically update the projected elevation map. Another feature is the manual conjuring of virtual water to flood your landscape. All of this makes the ARS a powerful educational tool in demonstrations about geographical and geological subjects. VLIZ wants to use the ARS in workshops and courses about the coast and coastal protection.

During August job students worked on realizing this poject. Several scenarios like a dike without a beach (figure below: A) or with a broader beach (B), the ‘dune for dike’ principle, the building of an island in front of the coast (C) and a harbour entrance (figure: D) are created in the sandbox and exposed to virtual storms. In addition to the view inside the sandbox (E), simulations can also be followed in detail on the computer screen (F). Are these measurements able to sufficiently protect our coastline against a storm? And if so, is this still the case when the 1000-year storm event finally unleashes at our beaches?

Come ‘play’ with the sandbox during the CREST midterm conference on 23 November 2017 or during the Day of Science on 26 November 2017 at the Marine Station Ostend (MSO).


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