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Proceedings Paper

MetaTree: augmented reality narrative explorations of urban forests
Author(s): Ruth West; Todd Margolis; Jarlath O'Neil-Dunne; Eitan Mendelowitz
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Paper Abstract

As cities world-wide adopt and implement reforestation initiatives to plant millions of trees in urban areas, they are engaging in what is essentially a massive ecological and social experiment. Existing air-borne, space-borne, and fieldbased imaging and inventory mechanisms fail to provide key information on urban tree ecology that is crucial to informing management, policy, and supporting citizen initiatives for the planting and stewardship of trees. The shortcomings of the current approaches include: spatial and temporal resolution, poor vantage point, cost constraints and biological metric limitations. Collectively, this limits their effectiveness as real-time inventory and monitoring tools. Novel methods for imaging and monitoring the status of these emerging urban forests and encouraging their ongoing stewardship by the public are required to ensure their success. This art-science collaboration proposes to re-envision citizens' relationship with urban spaces by foregrounding urban trees in relation to local architectural features and simultaneously creating new methods for urban forest monitoring. We explore creating a shift from overhead imaging or field-based tree survey data acquisition methods to continuous, ongoing monitoring by citizen scientists as part of a mobile augmented reality experience. We consider the possibilities of this experience as a medium for interacting with and visualizing urban forestry data and for creating cultural engagement with urban ecology.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 February 2012
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 8289, The Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality 2012, 82890G (8 February 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.912051
Show Author Affiliations
Ruth West, Univ. of California, San Diego (United States)
Todd Margolis, Univ. of California, San Diego (United States)
Jarlath O'Neil-Dunne, The Univ. of Vermont (United States)
Eitan Mendelowitz, Smith College (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8289:
The Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality 2012
Ian E. McDowall; Margaret Dolinsky, Editor(s)

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