|Representing the Environment on All Scales|
Building the Tangible Model
The basis for tangible geospatial modeling is a 3-dimensional model built to scale.
Each contour layer is stacked in order to create a three-dimensional, physical model of the digitial elevation model.
An orthophotograph and flow accumulation is projected over the completed contour carving.
Plasticine (non-drying modeling clay) is applied as a thin layer (~3mm) over the contour carving.
Elevation map, contours and flow accumulation (high-values) projected on the tangible model.
A vertically-mounted projector projects images onto the tangible model from the laptop workstation. The operator can select different images to project onto the model, affording a 3-dimensional view of the topography. With no image projected onto the white clay model it appears quite plain, such as the model of Jockey's Ridge to the right.
The tangible model is ready to be used for its designed purpose. Planners can make physical adjustments to the model by manipulating the clay to simulate landform changes. The model is then scanned, the data processed and computer simulations conducted (i.e., flow analysis and erosion analysis).
This type of modeling and simulation is well suited to model the effects of landform change as relates to water flow and erosion potential.
These techniques also have great potential to facilitate the military decision making process in training and in combat.