Immersive Geosciences Platform Developed

AAPG and VWORLD have created the first interactive digital publishing medium to deliver immersive, in-depth training opportunities for geoscientists.

“Currently AAPG offers technical journals in traditional formats. With Digital Immersive Geosciences (DIG) we are launching the first interactive digital publishing medium in the geoscience community,” said Jim Blankenship, geoscience director for AAPG.

“Imagine sitting at your desk and being able to see, study and experience rocks, outcrops and geologic formations that are thousands of miles away,” he said. “Partnering with VWORLD has enabled us to take that next step and use the latest technology to develop a true, immersive experience.”

Image Caption

A screen capture of the Digital Immersive Geosciences software in operation.

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AAPG and VWORLD have created the first interactive digital publishing medium to deliver immersive, in-depth training opportunities for geoscientists.

“Currently AAPG offers technical journals in traditional formats. With Digital Immersive Geosciences (DIG) we are launching the first interactive digital publishing medium in the geoscience community,” said Jim Blankenship, geoscience director for AAPG.

“Imagine sitting at your desk and being able to see, study and experience rocks, outcrops and geologic formations that are thousands of miles away,” he said. “Partnering with VWORLD has enabled us to take that next step and use the latest technology to develop a true, immersive experience.”

A software development company based in France, VWORLD will develop, design, launch and maintain the platform application built on their vieWTerra Evolution 4-D real-time Earth Viewer software. VWORLD specializes in 3-D real-time terrain visualization for simulation, training, situational awareness, navigation aid, command and control, crisis management or landscape planning needs.

“We’re thrilled about our partnership with AAPG which gives us a tremendous occasion to showcase our vieWTerra Evolution 4-D Globe Viewer to the worldwide geoscience community at large, and expand our reach to global clients in the oil and gas sector,” declared Vincent Pourieux, president and CEO of VWORLD. “The underlying technology behind vieWTerra is procedural, and that will impart the DIG application with an unprecedented degree of immersion and realism in the 3-D landscapes produced.”

According to Jerry Jefferis, AAPG project manager for the DIG program, “VWORLD was a logical fit for the partnership based on their GIS and simulation software experience across multiple industries.”

“This software is the new standard for future geoscience publishing and field trips,” added Blankenship. “A normal field trip involves field descriptions, maps, photos and publications in a 2-D setting. DIG uses existing technology to create a collection of virtual field trips. This allows a researcher, practitioner, teacher or student the opportunity of not only a virtual visit to the field location, but to move around and view the geography and geology in a spatially oriented sense. Similarly, it allows full immersion in journal publications with users able to review and inspect those in a true 3-D spatial environment rather than conventional ‘flat’ electronic or paper journal manuscripts,” Blankenship concluded.

The DIG software is fully customizable and can be loaded with an individual company’s outcrop datasets to create a desktop or tablet application resulting in a friendly, interactive, immersive application that is simple to use.

“When it’s released next year, the DIG software will contain several outcrop studies designated as ‘Outcrops that Change the way we Practice Petroleum Geology’,” said Jefferis. “Llucmajor in Mallorca and the Sierra Del Cuera in Asturias, Spain are two of the defining outcrops included in the software.”

The DIG application was conceptualized by a dedicated group of 15 international geospatial experts and end-users from the geoscience community (AAPG ad-hoc committee) and the prototype was introduced to rave reviews at the AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition held recently in Calgary.

Industry participation is key to the success of this program; therefore, AAPG is seeking industry participation and financial support.

There was a live demonstration at the Geological Society of America meeting Sept. 25-28 in Denver. The full release will be unveiled at AAPG’s Centennial Convention in Houston April 2-5, 2017.

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