Applications of GigaPans to Geoscience Education and Research

William L. Beatty, Winona State University
Candace L. Kaires Beatty, Winona State University
Jennifer L. Piatek, Central Connecticut State University

Abstract or Description

Geology is an inherently visual science, but geoscientists often have few visual resources (e.g. single scale field photographs and hand samples) to record and present information about landscapes and outcrops. The GigaPan technology allows us to expand these resources to include visualization at multiple scales within a single panorama. These panoramas are key for assisting educators, as exploring diverse geologic settings and collecting data outside the classroom helps students to understand geological processes and builds problem solving skills. Unfortunately, significant amounts of field work (which allow students to observe outcrops, landscape features, and geologic concepts and processes at a variety of scales) are difficult or impossible to incorporate into classes, particularly large introductory courses, for both financial and logistical reasons. Panoramas acquired for research purposes are valuable for recording field data (precise visual location of samples within an outcrop) and later analysis that cannot be completed in the field.