RSPB – “Flows to the Future”
To work alongside the RSPB and Peatlands Partnership on their “Flows to the Future” project on an application allowing virtual visitors from across the globe to explore a
particularly remote area of the world.
This is one of our largest and most challenging projects to date, to recreate the 200,000 hectare Peatlands of Caithness and Sutherland, Scotland (otherwise known as The Flow Country) into a 3D virtual landscape model to be accessible to both a global and a local audience which educates, inspires and engages people with this important and remote landscape in a way that has never been possible previous.
In addition, we were also asked to develop an interactive game to educate on the carbon storage qualities of the Peatlands and their associated role in climate change.
What we did
We used height mapping, and aerial filming to create the base of the three-dimensional landscape, before adding 3D-modelled flora and wildlife (which includes a golden eagle, who’s flight path users can follow for an aerial view of the entire area) to complete the recreation of The Flow Country.
Using authentic recording from the area created a truly representational model, which includes detailed information on the wildlife, video interviews, and animations to further add to the tool’s educational value.
We also developed a ‘Carbon Capture’ game, which highlighted factors which cause regular damage to the Peatlands. The game is available through a web browser using WebGL and is also downloadable from certain stores, where players can plant trees, build wind farms and discard irresponsible tourists in order to protect the environment.
The Peatlands of Caithness and Sutherland are now accessible in a way that current environmental restrictions do not allow.
Once we overcame the main challenge of getting such a huge area to display seamlessly, and across a number of specifications, the final product is even better than we had hoped. Users can explore the area in great detail without the risk of damaging the fascinating adverse landscape, through an information-rich educational tool which highlights many present and historical issues surrounding The Flow Country.
The app is available for all desktop computers (found here) and will also be installed in two touch screen kiosks at the brand new visitor centre in Forsinard. Users are more engaged by discovering information for themselves within the detailed immersive reconstruction, helping them retain knowledge more effectively. This is a fully immersive experience which will be used for years to come.
“Peel’s strength has been their ability to convert the detail produced by specialists into the key messages and meaningful images that matter to our audienceAndrew Coupar - Policy and Advice Manager – UK Scottish Natural Heritage