M. Riegelnegg (2019)

Conveying a Sense of Scale in 3D Planetary Environments

communication medium

Proceedings of CESCG 2019: The 23rd Central European Seminar on Computer Graphics


3D visualizations of Mars enable the remote exploration of the Martian surface in great detail and play an essential role in planetary science, mission planning, and the com- munication of scientific findings. Due to the unfamiliar environment depicted in these visualizations, conveying a sense of scale is necessary. In this paper, we character- ize the problem space of conveying scale in 3D visualiza- tions of Mars projected onto a 2D screen and design rep- resentations that satisfy the requirements of specific use- cases. We discuss challenges posed by different types of scale, magnitudes of scale, and levels of expertise. The designed representations include scale-bars, scale-boxes, known-object-comparison, true-layer-thickness, contour- lines, vertical exaggeration, and distance shading. We re- ceived informal feedback for each representation from a planetary scientist. The feedback suggests that our repre- sentations are capable of conveying a sense of scale in 3D visualizations of Mars for their use-cases.

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