IMAGE OF THE WEEK
A student uses HTC Vive to measure the thickness of rock layers at the ChoroPhronesis Lab in Walker Building. The virtual content is synchronized to a desktop screen. Thanks to a push to bring immersive experiences to Penn State, students are increasingly using virtual reality to travel to remote and exotic locations, enhancing traditional learning experiences. See story below. Image: Penn State
Clio Andris will give a talk on “Representing Relationships and Social Life in GIS Models,” Thursday, Feb. 14, 1:30–3:00 p.m., 233B HUB-Robeson Center and streamed online. More details and registration info: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/representing-relationships-and-social-life-in-gis-models-tickets-54942114343.
Chris Fowler’s fall 2018 GEOG 421 class took first place in the Higher Ed division in the “Draw the Lines PA” contest statewide finals.
The Miller Lecture with Judith Carney
Out of Africa: Food Legacies of Atlantic Slavery in the Americas
A striking feature of plantation era history is the number of first-person accounts that credit the enslaved with the introduction of specific foods, all previously grown in Africa. This lecture lends support to these observations by identifying the crops that European witnesses attributed to slave agency and by engaging the ways that African subsistence staples arrived, and became established, in the Americas. In emphasizing the African components of the Columbian Exchange, the discussion draws attention to the significance of the continent’s food crops as a crucial underpinning of the transatlantic commerce in human beings, the slave ship as a means of conveying African crops to the Americas, and the enslaved as active participants in establishing African food staples on their subsistence plots
- Friday, Feb. 15
- 3:00 p.m. in 319 Walker Building, Coffee and refreshments
- 4:00 in 112 Walker Building, Lecture
- Coffee Hour To Go Webcast
Cutting-edge virtual ‘field trips’ expanding the boundaries of student learning across the Commonwealth
Imagine a world where space and time do not matter, where it’s possible to witness critical events in the history of the Earth and humankind, or have a sneak peek into the future.
That’s what Penn State researchers, through the help of immersive technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and investments in the University’s infrastructure, are hoping to accomplish with a Penn State Strategic Plan seed grant.
New partnership will support large-scale, off-site solar panel project in Franklin County, Pennsylvania
Penn State and Lightsource BP announced today (Feb. 5) the development of 70 megawatts of large-scale, offsite solar energy to support the University’s Strategic Plan, which cites stewardship of the planet’s resources as a key priority. The project to install large-scale solar arrays will provide 25 percent of Penn State’s state-wide electricity requirements over a 25-year term, while driving economic development and educational opportunities for the host community.
From Archive, to Access, to Experience––Historical Documents as a Basis for Immersive Experiences
Jiawei Huang, Mahda M. Bagher, Heather Dohn Ross, Nathan Piekielek, Jan Oliver Wallgrün, Jiayan Zhao & Alexander Klippel
Journal of Map & Geography Libraries
Libraries have been the key to preserving culture and historic legacy for centuries. One such treasure cataloged in The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) Libraries is a collection of over 33,000 Sanborn™ Fire Insurance Maps. Originally kept safe in metal drawers, the library has embarked on a journey to digitize this abundance of information, combine it with other media such as photographs, and make it accessible through a web interface. Inspired by these efforts, we accessed this information and took it to the next level. Using state of the art 3D modeling and immersive technologies, we created a historic 3D model and immersive experiences of Penn State, exemplarily for the 1922 campus. The resulting experiences can be accessed through the web but also through head mounted displays (HMDs) and mobile phones in combination with VR viewers such as the Google Cardboard. Additionally, they can be used anywhere in the world or on the campus itself as a way to enable remote and in situ experiences and learning. Immersive experiences let us connect to the past, the present and the future, and as such offer value to digital cultural heritage efforts.