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Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering


In spite of the tremendous success in artificial intelligence technology and a high level of automation in geospatial data obtaining processes, there is still a need for topographical field data collection by professional surveyors. Understanding terrain topology and topography is a cognitive skill set that has to be demonstrated by geospatial Subject Matter Experts (SME) for the productive work in the topographic surveying field. For training of the mentioned above skillset, one has to be exposed to the theory and must also practice with surveying instruments in field conditions. The challenge of any surveying/geospatial engineering workforce training is to expose students to field conditions which might be limited due to equipment expenses and meteorological conditions that prevent good data collection. To meet this challenge, the Integrated Geospatial Technology research group is working on a geospatial virtual reality (VR) project which encompasses the following components: (a) immersive visualization of terrain; (b) virtual total station instrument; (c) virtual surveyor with reflector installed on the virtual rod. The application scenario of the technology we are working with has the following stages: (1) student is installing total station on the optimal location; (2) students move virtual surveyor on the sampling points they consider to be important (3) contours are generated and displayed in 3D being superimposed on 3D terrain; (4) accuracy of terrain modeling is observable and measurable by comparing the sampling model with initial one.

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© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( Publisher’s version of record:

Publication Title

International Journal of Geo-Information

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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