DiscoVR

Project Info

Project Description


DiscoVR

We believe that to live a healthy and active lifestyle is to embody the spirit
of adventure. DiscoVR allows users to live out new adventures around Australia
in a VR environment, before living them out in the real world.

DiscoVR empowers Australians to make better decisions, allowing them to make
the most of their leisure time and engage in physical outdoor, community-based
activities. Our system makes use of publicly available data to find the right
location, in the right weather conditions, with the necessary amenities,
whatever your hobby.

DiscoVR is a contextually aware virtual reality platform that provides benefits
that can be applied across a number of industries: tourism, event management,
and conservation to name a few. DiscoVR constructs an audio-visual experience
which represents all the details relevant to your next adventure. Data is
brought to life through a VR environment which immerses the user completely.

The data available to us can enable us to live better and more fulfilling
lives, but it is often presented in ways which cannot be easily digested. In
the Information Age, our challenge is to make use of the wealth of information
available to us to create real-world outcomes which empower communities and
individuals. DiscoVR addresses this by presenting data in a virtual 3D format,
immersing the user in a visual and aural experience. We display this not with
numbers and graphs but with clouds, wind, rain and sunshine.

How does it work?

Users initially select from a range of activities based on their interests.
The DiscoVR algorithm then accesses government data to locate the optimum
location of the chosen activity based on the user’s location. For example, if
the user wanted to go surfing, DiscoVR would consider wave height, wind
strength and direction, and tide times to calculate an optimal destination.

DiscoVR then takes information related to that activity and displays it
visually inside of a VR experience. With surfing the user can see and
experience the waves, rain and sun levels.

The ability to visualise and experience data is not just useful for individuals
planning their adventures. DiscoVR has utility across industry, and we can
apply this proof of concept prototype across areas such as farming, event
planning and conservation. A farmer may be able to use DiscoVR to gain an
immediate visualisation of soil quality, water levels and potential crop
yields. Event planners can quickly scout out new locations immersivity.
Conservationists can view relevant scientific data in a virtual representation
of the field.

We can use the world of big data to connect virtual and physical space. It’s
time to look at new development pathways, jump forward and really make this
data useable for the average person. That is what we have achieved with DiscoVR.


Data Story


We join together a variety of bits of weather data to inform the pursuit of weather dependent activities.

Our story begins by finding a variety of surfing locations, as scraped from:

Latest Coastal Weather Observations for Queensland

http://www.bom.gov.au/qld/observations/coastal.shtml

These are then placed onto Google Maps API:

Google maps

The Google Maps API allows us to visualize the world, and put users in their destinations.
https://cloud.google.com/maps-platform/

We were then able to find a variety of weather information for each location from the following:

Bureau of Meteorology

We access information on local Queensland weather information through the Bureau of
Meteorology. ftp://ftp.bom.gov.au/anon/gen/fwo/IDQ11295.xml

Willy Weather

Additional weather information is accessed through Willy Weather.
https://www.willyweather.com.au/info/api.html

The types of information accessed were:
- wind speed (represented by leaves blowing through the speed)
- wind direction (represented by angle of leaves)
- rain (indicated by rain drops)
- cloudiness (indicated by poly clouds)
- wave height (used in prioritisation)
- tidal swell (used in prioritisation)

After a location was chosen we were then able to use the following datasets to provide new information about a scene:

Gold Coast Car Parks

Parking availability is an requirement for many adventurers.
https://data.gov.au/dataset/public-parking-facilities-city-of-gold-coast

Gold Coast Showers

Publicly available showers are used to filter surfing spots.
https://data.gov.au/dataset/public-showers

Australian public toilets

Public toilets information are used along with other relevant information to find ideal activity locations.
https://data.gov.au/dataset/national-public-toilet-map

This information can then be visualised into the Google Street View (use of street view data for 3D effect):

Google Street View

https://developers.google.com/maps/documentation/streetview/intro


Evidence of Work

Video

Homepage

Team DataSets

Bureau of Meteorology

Description of Use: Bureau of Meteorology data is used to find locations with activity-appropriate weather.

Data Set

Public Parking Facilities Gold Coast

Description of Use: Adventures require parking parking.

Data Set

Willy Weather

Description of Use: Willy Weather data is used alongside BOM data to identify areas with ideal weather related to their chosen activity.

Data Set

Public Showers

Description of Use: Parking shower data is used to identify areas where surfers can wash down after a surf-session.

Data Set

National Public Toilet Map

Description of Use: Activity areas are filtered by public toilet availability.

Data Set

Challenges

Bounty: Decision Support

Region: Australia

Challenge

Best use of Gold Coast Data

Region: Queensland

Challenge

Healthy Communities Challenge

Region: Australia

Challenge

Connected Communities Challenge

Region: Queensland

Challenge

Science Data Challenge

Region: Queensland

Challenge
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