Training & Education

MOOSAIK – Environmental communication with Augmented Reality


Modern technologies for environmental protection
Species protection is difficult to implement without the support of the population. In many cases, it can only be implemented effectively if people adapt their habits and subordinate their actions to the welfare of biodiversity. The effort required to achieve this change of heart depends not only on the extent of the restrictions, but also strongly on the species to be protected, since species that are perceived as less aesthetic or useful are less interested. The same applies to shy or very small species that are hardly noticed by society and whose extinction is therefore perceived as less fatal. To be able to protect these animals effectively, it is of great importance to use the appropriate means of communication. They determine the way in which the attention of people is fought for, how connections are pointed out, dangers are pointed out and facts are explained. Augmented Reality (AR) offers great potential to support these tasks.


MOOSAIK
In the MOOSAIK project, the possibilities of a mobile AR app for environmental communication are being tested. The focus is on the workflow for creating virtual 3D models, which is optimised by comparing different programs and techniques for 3D modelling, animation and texturing. Since the use of Augmented Reality in the field of environmental education and communication has hardly been tested so far, this project will investigate strategies that can be used in future projects with similar objectives.

Augmented Reality App
Using an AR app, animated 3D models of threatened bird, insect and plant species can be displayed and observed in their real environment. Markerless and marker-based tracking is used for this purpose. Additional multimedia elements such as animal voices enrich the environmental education and motivate the user to direct all senses even more intensively towards nature.

Endangered native species
The large curlew, the lapwing and the snipe are among the bird species that also occurred in large numbers in Bavaria in the past, but are now endangered. Mainly due to the loss of their habitats, their populations have declined dramatically over the last 30 years. Thus they are among the animal species that for a long time were hardly imaginable without them in the Bavarian cultural landscape, but have now been forgotten by the population. Since greater effort is required to achieve acceptance of the conservation measures for lesser known species, we have decided to focus on these native animals rather than on already popular animal species such as elephants or polar bears.

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With the friendly support of the Wildland Foundation Bavaria. Many thanks to Eric Imm and Patrizia Weindl

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