Welcome to Francis Academic Press

Academic Journal of Environment & Earth Science, 2021, 3(2); doi: 10.25236/AJEE.2021.030210.

The Integration of Planetary Science Simulation and Virtual Reality Geographic Information System


Xinxin Shen

Corresponding Author:
Xinxin Shen

Faculty of Science, University of Manitoba, Manitoba, Canada


A method for constructing a measurable virtual reality environment based on the ground image of the planetary exploration patrol device and the high-resolution satellite image is proposed. According to the three-dimensional images acquired by the patrol at different azimuth angles and height angles, a 360° panoramic image is generated through cylindrical projection, automatic matching and seamless stitching. At the same time, the inverse calculation function from the panoramic image to the original image has been developed, allowing users to directly measure on the panoramic image, and obtain 3D terrain information from the original stereo pair. The three-dimensional measurable panoramic image is seamlessly integrated with the planet browser based on NASA's World Wind, which provides a measurable virtual reality environment for planetary exploration applications, and realizes the integration from the vertical view satellite image to the ground horizontal view patroller imagemeasurement. At the same time, combined with the current popular computer research fields of virtual reality and three-dimensional technology, it focuses on the application of virtual reality and three-dimensional visualization simulation technology in geographic information systems, and analyzes virtual dynamic simulation, three-dimensional space analysis, virtual geographic environment, and three-dimensional data acquisition. Basic issues such as processing, three-dimensional data structure and models, and discuss the development trend of VR-GIS and 3D-GIS.


Planetary Science Simulation; Virtual Reality Geographic; Information System

Cite This Paper

Xinxin Shen. The Integration of Planetary Science Simulation and Virtual Reality Geographic Information System. Academic Journal of Environment & Earth Science (2021) Vol. 3 Issue 2: 55-60. https://doi.org/10.25236/AJEE.2021.030210.


[1] Chen M, Lin H. Virtual geographic environments (VGEs): originating from or beyond virtual reality (VR)?[J]. 2018.

[2] Batty M. Virtual reality in geographic information systems[J]. The Handbook of Geographic Information Science. Oxford, Blackwell Publishing, 2008: 317-334.


[4] Lü G, Batty M, Strobl J, et al. Reflections and speculations on the progress in Geographic Information Systems (GIS): a geographic perspective[J]. International journal of geographical information science, 2019, 33(2): 346-367.

[5] Beck R A, Vincent R K, Watts D W, et al. A space-based end-to-end prototype geographic information network for lunar and planetary exploration and emergency response (2002 and 2003 field experiments)[J]. Computer Networks, 2005, 47(5): 765-783.

[6] García A S, Fernando T, Roberts D J, et al. Collaborative virtual reality platform for visualizing space data and mission planning[J]. Multimedia Tools and Applications, 2019, 78(23): 33191-33220.

[7] Erard S, Cecconi B, Le Sidaner P, et al. VESPA: a community-driven Virtual Observatory in Planetary Science[J]. Planetary and Space Science, 2018, 150: 65-85.

[8] Simpson D M. Virtual reality and urban simulation in planning: A literature review and topical bibliography[J]. Journal of Planning Literature, 2001, 15(3): 359-376.

[9] Nguyen L A, Bualat M, Edwards L J, et al. Virtual reality interfaces for visualization and control of remote vehicles[J]. Autonomous Robots, 2001, 11(1): 59-68.

[10] Egenhofer M. Spatial information appliances: A next generation of geographic information systems[C]//1st Brazilian workshop on geoinformatics, Campinas, Brazil. 1999.

[11] Vitek J D, Giardino J R, Fitzgerald J W. Mapping geomorphology: A journey from paper maps, through computer mapping to GIS and Virtual Reality[J]. Geomorphology, 1996, 16(3): 233-249.

[12] Lin H, Chen M, Lu G, et al. Virtual geographic environments (VGEs): a new generation of geographic analysis tool[J]. Earth-Science Reviews, 2013, 126: 74-84.

[13] Mintz R, Litvak S, Yair Y. 3D-virtual reality in science education: An implication for astronomy teaching[J]. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 2001, 20(3): 293-305.

[14] Guo H, Fan X, Wang C. A digital earth prototype system: DEPS/CAS[J]. International Journal of Digital Earth, 2009, 2(1): 3-15.

[15] De Longueville B, Annoni A, Schade S, et al. Digital earth's nervous system for crisis events: real-time sensor web enablement of volunteered geographic information[J]. International Journal of Digital Earth, 2010, 3(3): 242-259.

[16] Chen M, Lin H, Kolditz O, et al. Developing dynamic virtual geographic environments (VGEs) for geographic research[J]. 2015.

[17] Hillis K. Digital sensations: Space, identity, and embodiment in virtual reality[M]. U of Minnesota Press, 1999.

[18] Neves J N, Gonçalves P, Muchaxo J, et al. A virtual GIS room: interfacing spatial information in virtual environments[M]//Spatial Multimedia and Virtual Reality. CRC Press, 2021: 149-158.

[19] Miller H J. Geographic information science I: Geographic information observatories and opportunistic GIScience[J]. Progress in Human Geography, 2017, 41(4): 489-500.

[20] Longley P A, Goodchild M F, Maguire D J, et al. Geographic information science and systems[M]. John Wiley & Sons, 2015.

[21] Lindstrom P, Koller D, Ribarsky W, et al. An integrated global GIS and visual simulation system[R]. Georgia Institute of Technology, 1997.

[22] Morse Z R, Harrington E, Hill P J A, et al. The use of GIS, mapping, and immersive technologies in the CanMars Mars Sample Return analogue mission; advantages for science interpretation and operational decision-making[J]. Planetary and Space Science, 2019, 168: 15-26.

[23] Müller R D, Cannon J, Qin X, et al. GPlates: building a virtual Earth through deep time[J]. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 2018, 19(7): 2243-2261.

[24] Neves J N, Câmara A. Virtual environments and GIS[J]. Geographical Information Systems, 1999, 1(39): 557-65.

[25] MacEachren A M. Cartography and GIS: extending collaborative tools to support virtual teams[J]. Progress in Human Geography, 2001, 25(3): 431-444.

[26] Lin H, Gong J. Exploring virtual geographic environments[J]. Geographic Information Sciences, 2001, 7(1): 1-7.

[27] Geographic information system for smart cities[M]. Copal Publishing Group, 2016.

[28] Olanda R, Pérez M, Morillo P, et al. Entertainment virtual reality system for simulation of spaceflights over the surface of the planet Mars[C]//Proceedings of the ACM symposium on Virtual reality software and technology. 2006: 123-132.

[29] Fisher P, Unwin D. Virtual reality in geography[M]. CRC Press, 2001.