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Space-Time Modeling and Visualization of Water Table Dynamics in a Flatwood Landscape

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  033064,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.14050) @2003
Authors:   S. Grunwald, V. Ramasundaram, A. Mangeot, N.B. Comerford, and C.M. Bliss
Keywords:   Spatio-temporal modeling, scientific visualization, virtual learning environment

A virtual learning environment and scientific visualization of environmental systems help students understand relationships between soil, topography, land cover/land use, and hydropatterns. The objective of this study was to develop a 3D interactive, virtual learning environment to gain insight into the water table dynamics and hydropatterns of a flatwood soillandscape in northern Florida. We hypothesized that understanding hydropatterns is rooted in understanding soils, topography, climate, and vegetation patterns. This framework aims at stimulating the abstract geographic thinking skills of learners providing multiple perspectives, dimensions, and geographic datasets. Virtual learning environments facilitate the training of students cognitive thinking skills to understand complex environmental systems and their underlying phenomena. We used 2D and 3D ordinary kriging, Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML), External Authoring Interfaces (EAI), eXtensible 3D (X3D), and Java to develop the virtual learning environment. Employing SciVis facilitates multiple views of the content world, which stimulates a greater understanding and insight of an environmental system. It is this synthesis of geographic datasets that distinguishes the virtual learning environment from conventional instructional media. Desktop virtual reality when combined with other forms of digital media may offer great potential for a cognitive approach to education.

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