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Are we really immersed in an "innovative" process when it comes to 3D Spatial?

"The push of a button has the potential to open another dimension", write, almost at the end of his article, Muthukumar Kumar, referring specifically to the creation of 3D environments, its usefulness, importance and future.

Note that to talk about the future, in a way that distances us from the simple charlatanery, it is required that this word be complement to another (s) that give the necessary weight and reliability that our professional field demands. This is where the word "innovation". The question arises: When "something" can be awarded the adjective of innovative?

The meaning of innovation as a concept

A suggestive and very interesting article which supplements the information required for this comment states that "the innovation lies at the intersection of three worlds: the market, the technological and the effective implementation".

When accompanying the phrase with the image shown, it is emphasized that that three components must be presented at the same time in that "something" that we will qualify as innovative. Because, as the author of the post rightly points out:

"The most attractive part of innovation is creativity, ideation, motivation and new technologies. However, these concepts are the smallest part of an innovative process. The most important part is the action, effective implementation. "

Good point. Without execution everything is nothing more than a dream waiting to come true some day. Let's ask ourselves then: Do you know if something is implemented regarding the "environments" in the 3D Spatial? In what areas? Do you perceive them?

Yes. Because beyond using (or having used, or just knowing that they exist) both the ArcGis Pro such as Qgis2threejs to create fully viewable results in 3D, that is, talking about progress in the presentation of the analyzed data; there will always arise (or have arisen) a need that has not yet been resolved and that waits its turn in the queue to be able to emerge.

3D Spatial as the future platform for information and experiences

Kumar says that "there are algunos fascinating developments "in the 3D Spatial. Developments that, he explains, we can perceive in the same way as when we "immerse ourselves" in a style game Grand Theft Auto. Let us add that these contexts are generated modifying or creating different areas to what we perceive daily as real and effective.

That is, we refer here to both the Virtual Reality as the Augmented reality, fields in which my initial knowledge, I acknowledge, was no more than merely informative. That's why today's note. I plan to cross the border, reflect on "innovating", and transmit that concern to all of you, kind readers. There we go!

On the immersive experience, the metaverse and other herbs

We felt that the virtual reality refers to a fiction. How much the illusion reality will have will depend on whether we use a simple computer screen with its attached hardware or devices created ex-professo that we will use to experience and live that unreality. The latter is the immersive virtual reality, the one in which the user perceives sensorial stimuli and lives like it's real the three-dimensional world being shown.

La augmented reality, on the other hand, adds to the real virtual elements, creating a "mixed" environment in real time and in which we do not lose contact with the "true". In this way we are shown information that we could not be able to see in "normal conditions" which will enrich our experience.

The immersive virtual realities that interest Kumar in his article are those that use geolocation. The important point here is determine the area within which we "immerse". The concept of metaverse. Understood as that virtual world (a metaphor for the real one) where a person interacts with others using a identity represented graphically as an image or photograph known as avatar.

And although Matrix is a metaverse referent in the cinema, more interesting, in our eyes, is this created for educational purposes to learn GIS and commented on Esri's blog:

Putting the pieces in place

Kumar refers to 3 projects, all created by the company Mantle. Conceived in its beginnings as Preliminal Games by its founders, this project had as purpose to create games that use geolocation presented in three dimensions to the user trying to reproduce a sort of augmented reality. They soon warned that in Unity, the popular game development platform, there were not many who used maps. It was there that the idea of ​​creating their own system and with it, Mantle arose.

The initial process consisted in using MapBox (Mantle's predecessor), the same ones that were modified by a sort of scraping of their pixels to place "prefabricated" that conformed the geography of the street of a city maintaining the colors of the original image.

They noted that this niche, the use of maps, could be applied to different domains that were not just games. Kumar explains next about the Brownsville Project, a community in Brooklyn, New York, where, due to the antiquity and precariousness of their homes and the lack of proper planning by the authorities, there has been an area of ​​marked poverty and delinquency in which insecurity of the settlers is a daily danger.

It was required to make this situation known to the world in a way that did not go unnoticed or ended up being the headline of a news program that was forgotten in a few days. A different form of communication was then conceived in which although a reflection on the reality shown is produced, it is shown in a more attractive, playful way, that "hooks" those who visualize it and that breaks the schemes of solemnity and linearity of a documentary-type journalistic report.

To this end, each resident can create their story the same that is narrated in the format of "interactive document" or "docu-Games"(Much used in reality programs such as" Big Brother ", for example) where they can recreate their physical environment showing the daily pressures of their living in this neighborhood and tell stories from your point of view. Thus, through Mantle and Unity, they have been able to regain control of the environment to tell a story that can ultimately change their space for the better.

To achieve the so-called simulation of autonomous vehicles, Mantle provides as an added value the ability to interpret multiple mapping (embedding) procedures of map layers to create a significant portion of a virtual environment use case as a "specific intersection" or known black spots of accidents that may be ready to train in minutes or hours instead of days or weeks.The last project mentioned by Kumar is related to the automotive industry. Specifically with the possibility of working simulations of cars that can self-drive. But in order to create and test in self-conducting spaces, we need to know how a human being behaves in front of a track. We must "emulate" the way a human reasoned in different situations. This brings us back to the field of AI (Artificial Intelligence) which aims to reproduce the behavior of the human brain. To this we add the Machine Learning because machines must be able to recognize patterns of behavior by themselves and "predict" behaviors.

And since many companies' teams already have both their own physical units and vehicle camera systems, they can be pulled directly into a Mantle environment with the possibility of vision training and prototyping.

The step towards the future possible and desirable at the same time

Kumar concludes that "ideas ranging from the construction of a simulator for the autonomous driving test that includes navigation algorithms, to the construction of VR games where you can be anywhere in the world and immerse yourself in that experience require some tools and serious capabilities. "

Although it may seem very far from our reality, the truth is that experiences exist. But for space solutions to be applied in our daily environment, they need to go through not only the innovative sieve, but also to attract the attention of those who can realize these projects.

That is why the author insists on two qualities:ease"And"utility". Easy because because to make 3D Spatial accessible, prevalent and useful “the existing barrier has to be lowered or diminished to give way to experimentation; it has to be 'easy to play and release'”. Then he adds, “only when creators of all kinds can experiment and then build solutions in those experiments in a matter of seconds, will the general public be able to benefit”

In addition, 3D Spatial must pass the utility, that is when users need it every day and can use it simply without thinking about it; is when it will really be ripe and ready for main use. We talk about the famous test of Larry Page should be implemented and approved

I ask the reader of Geofumadas, do you guide your efforts to achieve this innovative spirit to which we refer in your professional work?

Golgi Alvarez

Writer, researcher, specialist in Land Management Models. He has participated in the conceptualization and implementation of models such as: National Property Administration System SINAP in Honduras, Management Model of Joint Municipalities in Honduras, Integrated Cadastre-Registry Management Model in Nicaragua, Territory Administration System SAT in Colombia . Editor of the Geofumadas knowledge blog since 2007 and creator of the AulaGEO Academy that includes more than 100 courses on GIS - CAD - BIM - Digital Twins topics.

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