Transcript of Immersive environments

Immersive environments (10:15)

Julie-Ann Sheridan – Hi, I'm Julie-Ann and I come from the Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre. We are a centre in Sydney and we are part of 25 of the environmental and zoo education centres across New South Wales [EXEC]. And it's really wonderful to be able to present to you and showcase our project, 'immersive environments'. The name immersive environments is a driving force in what we do. We immerse students into the environment.

Lockdown 1.0 stopped the ability for our students to physically be on a study site and sadly further restrictions on travel during this pandemic will what make this a continued issue. To fill the gap, environmental and zoo education centres offer virtual field work to support students using 360 imagery to record the features of environments. Our project wanted to showcase our study sites and other geographically relevant imagery to make it more accessible to all students across New South Wales. And this is how we did it.

In partnership with EZEC and thanks to the team at T4L, who allowed us to borrow the, 'Jetstar', we travelled across New South Wales, visiting our colleagues and taking amazing images to upload into Google Maps and Google Earth. These platforms have transformed the way geographers can investigate places. The immersive interactivity places exploration in the hands of the students.

Now we're all familiar with Google's interactivity with 360 photos. But what's really cool is when you open your Google Maps app, then you can actually walk into the site and be completely immersed. Here, if you have it on your desktop browser, you use your fingers to scroll around. But, if you have the Google Maps app, you actually get to immerse yourself.

[Image of person holding up and moving a mobile phone to show the environment being studies]

Imagine a classroom of senior students doing this. It really captures the kinaesthetic learners.

Now, let's have a look at the website and see where you can actually access this imagery to use in schools in your classroom. So this is the curriculum HSIE website. You must be familiar with this by now. And in geography under stage six, we can scroll down to new resources that we've been able to put together in partnership with the HSIE curriculum and thank you to Sue for allowing this to happen.

Under the general tab, you can actually go to immersive environments and this is where our project and the 360 images are catalogued and held. Let's go to this now. And here it is.

You will see this site actually divides up into the natural and human environments by physical interactions and ecosystems at risk here at the top. And we can scroll down and we actually investigate the urban places as well. And so if you can see, these are all the different sites that we've been able to photograph and catalogue here under this site. So let's have a little look and see what, let's go and see a site.

I'm going to choose Kitty's Creek because this is a site that actually the Field of Mars operate. The other sites have been put together using, in being in partnership with our EZEC team. So let's have a little look at some of the images. You can click on the image like this. It will actually take you directly to Google Maps. To the 360 photosphere that we've been able to put together.

So if we scroll around, we can take in the whole environment. This is the intertidal wetlands and in this particular spot, we're above the entire zone in the salt marsh, an ecosystem at risk. But if you can scroll around, you get to see the actual zonation within these intertidal area. So we have the Casuarina woodland at the back and if we move around, we can also see the mangroves down towards the lower part of the intertidal zone. And creeping in, we have our mangroves. Obviously showing the changes in this environment over time.

So, now what we're going to do, is we're actually going to use the click arrow here. We're going to click on this back arrow. Where we're now going to actually be able to place this picture into the environment itself. And so this is actually where we can go. Now we can zoom in and we can also change our layers to the satellite imagery using NASA's satellite images as well as ariel photography. And if we zoom in, we can actually see where those photos these are. All you need is peg man over here. Right-click on him. And that will actually then allow us to see all of the images. Both Google Street Cam as well as the public's own photos sees onto the actual site here. And they're really useful to be able to examine this finely more detailed.

This little photosphere here, was the photo we were just having a look at, as you can see in that little box there. However, we're also able to use other sites as well. So here for example. In this particular image, this is not owned by us. This is actually a member of the public. It's not part of our own sort of system. But here we can actually see the creek. The Kitty's Creek that runs out into the Lane Cove River. So it gives you a much greater perspective of the whole environment.

Now if we click back, we should get back to our own immersive brand. Now, this brand is actually, we're providing permission for students to use the images that we've catalogued. If however, you do go into those other sites, like this one back here for example, you will actually, because being a third party, this has copyright. So students wouldn't be able to use this image unless they had permission. As I said, anything under our brand here, you're welcome to use. You have our permission. Hows that.

All right, so now. What's happened here is its also brought up our EZEC 360 immersive environments local guide brand and all of the pictures that we've actually accumulated is quite a number. But let's go Griffith first and we'll have a little look and see what's happening in Griffith.

And so here, the wonderful thing about this is you can actually see urban dynamics and the urban dynamics here. Obviously, carbonization as well as suburbanization, it's occurring here in Griffith. All right, so now let's have a look and see what else we have. I know that with those catalogues we've actually got the, we've got both physical and urban environments and depending on what you're interested in, you might be able to do that.

Here for example, we have Dubbo. And we're obviously looking there at more decentralisation as well as some of the surroundings suburbs. So it's a really great study when you're looking at those urban dynamics of a country town.

So now I'm going to go back to our main website and have a look at some of the other sites that we have here. And so, we might go to. We've been to Griffith. We might go to Cronulla Beach. Here. So here is Cronulla Beach. Here we go. You can click this one. And with this, you can actually, once it's loaded, you can see here at Wanda beach. We're looking at the dune system.

Some of these photos, we actually thought it would engage students to see the EZEC teachers conducting field work. This is the team at Royal National Park you see. And they're conducting field work. You can see we have different equipment. You can zoom in to see what they're doing. We've got a clinometer working over here, for example. So it also engages students with the different types of field work equipment and the different ways that we can conduct field work.

So now heading back to our site. And what's been very exciting is we've able to catalogue hundreds of photos and so, it does take a little bit of time. And if you actually really move out onto New South Wales, you'll see how many different sites we've been able to photograph using, working with our colleagues at EZEC. So you can see that if I scroll to the top here, you'll also notice that we've got nearly 2 million views of these photos and we just hope that some of these photos are actually being used and viewed by our HSC students and preliminary students in their study of geography.

It looks like there is a lot here but I feel there is so much more to go and we've really appreciate the feedback of our geography teachers out there. Essentially see it as a wish list of sites that you would love for us to capture for you. If there's a site, you know, that you don't have a 360 camera, or the technology, or the workflow is just too arduous, perhaps you can contact us here in the team at HSIE and perhaps we can work together and get some more of these amazing images up.

So essentially, I'd like to say thank you to the HSIE team for allowing us to go on lovely travels to work together to be able to put this resource up. And yeah, that's a resource we hope that's useful and we hope you'll be able to use it in your HSC and preliminary geography classrooms.

End of transcript

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