1. 3D terrain management tool

3MAP - milestone 2.

interaction design : use cases : 5

Use Case 2

School project


1. Requirements

Emily's year 6 class is doing a project on the global warming, and she is to research past environmental catastrophes for a presentation.

Cassandra, the teacher's favourite, has prepared a complex diorama showing the carbon cycle. She boasts at lunchtime that it is already finished, and will certainly gain her the top mark. Emily suspects that her parents helped her make it. She needs to come up with something impressive, and she only has one night.


2. Constraints

Invariant conditions

Emily has access to a computer with

  • broadband Internet access
  • 3D hardware acceleration
  • an Earth browser installed

both at home and at her school, which is part of her state government's Broadband for Schoools program.


Emily has a research and communication goal as defined.


Emily will have found and presented the desired information, to great acclaim.




3. Scenario

Emily has seen a National Geographic documentary on the environmental collapse of the great city of Angkor. She knows it's recent research, so thinks it will be an interesting topic for her presentation.

Emily doubleclicks on her Earth browser. The last time she used it she was researching wind currents, and they're still visible, so she goes to the Filters menu and selects Standard Filters.

She doesn't know where Angkor is, so she goes to the Filters menu and selects Cities. She types Angkor in the search field, and a marker appears in Cambodia.

Emily zooms down to the marker. She sees 3D models of the temples of Angkor Wat, and spends some time exploring them.

She chooses Archeology from the filters menu, and clicks the box to activate the entire category.

Then Emily zooms back to an aerial view. She chooses Time from the Filters menu, and pulls the slider to move back. She knows from the documentary that the city was at its height around 1,000 years ago, although she does not remember exact dates. She pulls at the numbers on the time slider to present a longer range of time, and then drags the slider back 1,000 years.

As Emily goes back past the early 1800s the city is swallowed by jungle. This gradually fades until she goes back to the mid 1400s, when the city suddenly flowers, and then fades away again from 1200 to 900AD.

Opening up the Archeology filter for a glance, Emily can see that this data comes from the Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative data clearinghouse, and that the project lead is a professor from the University of Sydney.

Emily focuses the time slider in on the period from 900AD to 1500AD, and moves slowly forward in time. She can see the beginning of the city, and watch it grow rapidly for 300 years. She goes to Filters/Population - there are a million inhabitants. She watches the irrigation system grow, and the water level drop. She chooses Filters/Rainfall and sees a regular drought cycle climax with a multi-year drought just when the water level is at its lowest from over-irrigation, in the mid 1400s, followed by a rapid drop in population.

Emily moves the sliders back to 900AD and sets them up just right. She goes to the File menu and chooses Export World View. This creates an XML file on her desktop.

She switches to her email program and mails the file to her school account. Tomorrow in class she'll be able to load the filter configuration into the class computer and present her findings live.