School field trips always offered more than the facts learned during the trip. It offered socializing and opportunities to explore the environment in a different way. Especially during the global pandemic and its associated lockdown, both public and private learning institutions are investing more and more time and effort in online education. But how to make field trips virtual and do more than curated streetview? Two academic researchers and practitioners in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and creative technology disciplines Oliver Dawkins and Dr. Gareth W. Young presented a workshop where they shared their knowledge of teaching and learning through VR (Virtual Reality) using free 3D model of London and 3D model of Dublin provided by AccuCities.

Immersive Learning Research Network workshop

The recent virtual field trip expanded on methods developed for a prior workshop for the Immersive Learning Research Network (ILRN). The iLRN workshop had been developed as part of research supported by Maynooth University and their Investigators’ Award Program for the Building City Dashboards Project and by the Trinity College Dublin with their V-SENSE Project.

The workshop is suitable for anyone who has the enthusiasm in employing consumer technologies to capture the “ground truth” of geographical location to use appropriate software to generate 3D models that can be assembled to create immersive virtual environments (IVEs). This workshop is also targeted to educators and researchers who are interested in using open-source and free to use software to create unique IVEs that can be shared as virtual learning environments (VLEs) in social VR.

How the Ground Truthing and Virtual Field Trip Method Works

The idea of the workshop is to show how you can go from capturing data in physical locations, for example through smartphone, to integrating them into our online 3D models. These created IVEs can be helpful in visioning, operation and content selection or even content creating. First there is a presentation for the technical process of capturing data to constructing virtual environments, then they invite members to join them on virtual field trip. The IVE becomes the center of discussion and the item to co-create on for the students to learn. Learn more.

Free 3D city models for your projects

AccuCities has released free samples of 3D Model of London, Cardiff, Bristol and Dublin. Whilst Cardiff and Bristol samples represent 0.2 km2 sections, Dublin sample covers an entire 0.25 km2 tile and 3D London sample covers full 1 km2 of the city.

Creative Commons licence for AccuCities samples

AccuCities is proud to have released all of our Free 3D City Models samples under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. This licence allows for the widest possible freedom to use our sample 3D city models. This license lets users remix, adapt, and build upon our work even for commercial purposes, as long as the users credit us and license their new creations under the identical terms. We strongly advise users to read the entire license, but this license is often compared to “copyleft” free and open source software licenses. All new works based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use. More info.