Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Learning Geology in 3D

Rowan Cockett, a graduating senior from the University of Calgary, presented a poster this afternoon about an interactive software application he developed (VisibleGeology) that helps students understand the concepts in introductory and structural geology courses. Student can upload maps or use preloaded modules to look at topography, bedding, folding, faulting, as well as dykes, plutons, and unconformities. One thing Rowan noted was how geology teachers often refer to the Rule of V's (the outcrop V's point in the direction in which the formation lies underneath the valley), yet students don't always fully understand the concept. Then he pulled out his laptop, fired up the VisibleGeology application and showed me very quickly how this concept works. We did a fly-through of the geologic feature and then pulled out cross-sections at different points along the formation. He also showed me some of the other features of the application. It's a very easy to use application, and one of the highlights is the ability to upload your own data - which makes it a great tool that can be easily integrated into any classroom activity or pre-fieldwork prep work. The application is not yet available as a mobile app (as this would be a great tool for field courses), but keep tabs on the Visible Geology website to keep up with all the latest releases and updates.

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