Customising virtual globe tours to enhance community awareness of local landscape benefits

Harwood, Amii R., Lovett, Andrew A. ORCID: and Turner, Jenni A. (2015) Customising virtual globe tours to enhance community awareness of local landscape benefits. Landscape and Urban Planning, 142. pp. 106-119.

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Our wellbeing depends upon the services provided by ecosystems and their components. Despite recent advances in academic understanding of ecosystem services, and consideration in UK national environmental policy, a greater awareness is needed at community and individual levels. Dynamic features of virtual globe applications have considerable potential for helping convey the multi-dimensional context of ecosystem services and promoting general awareness. In a case study targeting residents in a small urban fringe river catchment in Norfolk, UK, representatives from local authorities and responsible agencies collaborated with scientists to produce extensive customisation of virtual globes in this context. By implementing a virtual flight over the catchment, different views and scales are traversed to set the context for landscape features and ecosystem services. Characteristic sites, e.g. supplying cultural services, are displayed and relationships with the natural environment are explained using linked on-screen text. Implementation is cost-effective and described for practitioners in ecosystem and landscape management, who may be inexperienced in landscape visualisation. Supplied as three pre-packaged virtual tours, products are made available for download and are publicised at a variety of engagement events, including teaching events with schoolchildren. The tours have attracted public interest and generated positive feedback about improving knowledge of local natural assets. Schoolchildren show confidence with the interface, but supplementary problem-based activities can improve learning opportunities. The capacity of virtual globes to support more participatory involvement of the public in local ecosystem management may increase in the future, but such visualisations can already help promote community awareness of local landscape benefits.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: visualisation,virtual globes,virtual tours,ecosystem services,landscape management
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
University of East Anglia Research Groups/Centres > Theme - ClimateUEA
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Centres > Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment (CSERGE)
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Geosciences
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Environmental Social Sciences
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2015 12:00
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 01:13
DOI: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2015.08.008


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