02 Sep 2012 to 02 Sep 2012
This paper discusses Digital Earth as a platform for the development of thinking and practice in the fields of new media aesthetics, collaborations between art, science and engineering, and teaching and learning in digital media design. Since 2006 the Digital Design program at AUT University has incorporated Interactive real-time 3D computer graphics as part of the core curriculum, providing research and teaching opportunities in interaction and experience design, Virtual Reality systems, Augmented Reality applications and mobile Geo-Reality.
Interactive real-time 3D computer graphics, applied to the dynamic visualisation of complex systems, is categorised within the relatively new art form of data visualisation. Data visualisation is the re-mapping of one representational form onto another – image to sound, weather and climate data to sound and image, and so forth. This evolving field of interdisciplinary new media art practice recognizes that barriers to engagement with Big Science often hamper the development of potential solutions.
The challenge for art in the age of Big Data – swimming in the data deluge – can be assisted through application of theories of human perception and cognition, storytelling through computational simulation, and distributed via dramaturgical and performance based narratives; offering a human-centred approach to new media design and digital based art forms
It is in this process of public engagement, that the humanities can play, a vital and dynamic role for Digital Earth; a starting point for aesthetics research and collaborative practice between art and science and education. The methodological foundation for this Digital Earth project, specifically using real-time 3D graphical responses to large data sets, in real-time, near to real-time and simulation time, seeks do develop new digital media representations of what it means to live on and with our planet.
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