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Increased access to consolidated digital spatial data via spatial data infrastructures (SDI) is advancing the potential for spatial analysis applications such as environmental process modelling. While a number of expert visualisation packages exist for environmental models, there is a lack of widely available interactive visualisation tools. To provide for greater community engagement, virtual environments that are online, collaborative and can run on low-cost PCs are required. This paper discusses the development of a tool which aims to provide both expert and non-experts with access to environmental process model outputs. Conversion from standard format GIS data, into a game engine has been achieved. A methodology for mapping the effects from environmental model outputs into the virtual environment has also been shaped. Development of a 3D object library, for vegetation and other matter, implementation of the tool on a network and specification of criteria for display and communication options in a multi-skilled environment are the current focus. Envisaged system use scenarios have been devised in collaboration with national and state agencies, who are the clients for this research.
Date of Conference: 6-8 July 2005