The Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario (APGO) Education Foundation has generously donated $5,300 to the Miller Museum of Geology for the installation of a permanent Augmented Reality Sandbox Display (AR Sandbox).  By combining a 3 dimensional imaging device with a powerful computer and projection system, the AR Sandbox overlays contour lines and topographic map data on the landscape built by visitors to the museum in a conventional sandbox.  As the user changes the shape of the land in the sandbox, by building hills or scooping out valleys, the overlay map is updated in real time to show the resulting changes on the topographic map.  As an added bonus, visitors can make it virtually “rain” on the landscape, and watch how the water would run down the slopes and pool in the low areas to form lakes.

Dr. Bill Pearson, MSc'77, PhD'80, and Chair of APGO Education Foundation commented,”The AR Sandbox is a remarkable teaching tool. The Miller Museum previously has used a portable version with great success. A permanent installation will make this exciting technology more readily available to the public. We are delighted to support this innovative project. This tool shows in real time to users how topography controls watersheds, surface water and runoff, demonstrating some of the basics of geomorphology and environmental geoscience.”

The AR Sandbox is an exciting addition to the department. Mark Badham , BSc'86, MSc'97 and Curator of the Miller Museum commented: “Being able to add this incredibly interactive and educational exhibit to the museum displays has been a major goal since we first saw the videos of this amazing technology in action. The museum is extremely grateful to the APGO Education Foundation for the support to build the AR Sandbox which will help to inspire and educate people of all ages who come to our facility each year.”

More information is available on the APGO Education Foundation website, and in the press release from the APGO Education Foundation. The APGO Education Foundation (“the Foundation”) is a registered charitable organization that is supported by the Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario (APGO), the regulatory body for professional geoscientists (P.Geo.’s) in Ontario.

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