×C11. Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality technologies for visualising landscape resource utilisation options

Sustainable regional development is a priority for the Australian, State and Territory governments. However, industries that provide regional economic development opportunities (e.g. agriculture, water resource development, mining, tourism, aquaculture) often result in changes to local environments and landscapes. Increasingly industries need to establish and maintain a ‘social licence to operate’. Obtaining such social licence is made challenging by the wide diversity of stakeholders and the disadvantages faced by many communities, particularly remote communities in northern Australia where in some cases English is not their first language. These factors seriously limit the suitability of traditional technical approaches and products (e.g. reports and digital mapping) for delivering information vital to understanding by communities, other stakeholders and potential investors of possible future options, scenarios and outcomes that may arise from development or resource management decisions.

Virtual Reality (VR) or Augmented Reality (AR) visualisation technologies, such as Digital Twins, could be valuable in validating the reality of future scenarios envisaged by proponents for local landscapes and their benefits to communities and other stakeholders. These technologies offer valuable opportunities to expediate discussions and negotiations, leading to focus on those aspects of development that warrant most attention, helping to ensure that there are no unexpected outcomes from future developments, and that proponents can be held accountable for changes to plans. They may also be valuable tools in visualising the outcomes of different resource management decisions (e.g. pasture management, fire management).

We welcome any presentations making use of VR or AR technology, particularly:

We also welcome presentations examining ethical issues associated with the use of VR or AR technology in environmental and landscape resource utilisation.

Key topics: Virtual reality, Augmented reality, Digital twin, Natural resource management