Virtual Ecology

Exploring Australian landscape dynamics in virtual reality

Simulations of land management scenarios and how ecosystems change in conditions that can only be rarely experienced in the real-world allow decision makers to effectively engage with their stakeholders and communities. This project aims to create virtual reality simulations that will allow diverse audiences to understand the values, qualities and characteristics of Eucalypt woodlands, and how they are managed.

The work will see further developing of 3D models of plants, animals and landscapes as well as soundscapes. Using these, and through the exploration of methods that allow users to transform the simulation between scenarios (for example; before and after a bush fire), the project will evaluate whether virtual reality is an effective method for communicating complex information to diverse audiences.

The work builds on a pilot virtual reality simulation developed by Monash University and CSIRO. The main output will be a publicly available VR simulation that shows how the Eucalypt woodlands transform during natural and man-made changes. The challenges and opportunities for using virtual reality to simulate landscape dynamics and land management scenario will also be evaluated.

This project is ongoing.

Project members

Anna Richards (CSIRO, Darwin)
Suzanne Prober (CSIRO, Perth)
Florence Wang (CSIRO IM&T, Melbourne)
Justin Baker (CSIRO IM&T, Melbourne)
Fiona Dickson (Department of the Environment and Energy, Canberra)
Tom Chandler (Monash University)
Bernie Jenny (Monash University)
Su-Yiin Lai (Monash University)
Michael Neylan (Monash University)
Alex Klippel (University of Pennsylvania)
Alan Taylor (University of Pennsylvania)


Grassy Woodlands VR 360 Video

Virtual Reality Forest