A demonstration of a tsunami simulation designed by a team of researchers and developers from the University of Victoria was on display this week at the 2018 #BCTECH Summit held at Canada Place in Vancouver (Photo by Kieran O’Connor/Black Press)

Virtual simulation engages users in the event of a tsunami hitting Port Alberni

UVic team debuted simulation at the 2018 #BCTECH Summit

A team of researchers and developers based out of the engineering and computer science departments at the University of Victoria is developing a virtual simulation based on information from an earthquake that impacted the area of Port Alberni in the 1700s.

The team held the simulation on display at the 2018 #BCTECHSummit at Canada Place in Vancouver from May 14 to May 16.

The tsunami simulation, as the team describes it, is a virtual reality game that demonstrates the impact of a tsunami hitting the town of Port Alberni.

“On Vancouver Island, the threat of a tsunami is real, and the group saw an opportunity to leverage advances in mersive technologies, so virtual and augmented reality, as a way to help communities prepare,” says Nico Preston, a researcher for the team.

Preston explains that once a user puts on the virtual reality headset, they will have a moment to explore an accurate representation of Port Alberni, then an earthquake will become detected and trigger a tsunami and a rise in sea level.

“As the person watching the flood waters rise through the simulation, you can interact with it and help dispatch fire trucks, you can help coordinate the evacuation,” says Preston.

The team wanted to find a way to use their technological skill set and apply it to a local problem.

Preston explains that the simulation has been underway for the past year and have been in collaboration with Ocean Networks Canada to receive data of a realistic map of the seabed and a realistic map of Port Alberni. As well, the team has worked with WestGrid and IBM to develop the data, in conjunction with Ocean Networks Canada, into a visual product.

“By having communities see flood waters rise near their homes, schools and businesses you get people thinking about how they would respond and how they would prepare,” says Preston. “Our long-term vision is to have these tools to be useful during the event itself by providing emergency operation support.”

Preston explains that the team does not want to limit themselves strictly to the impact of tsunamis, but that their platform would become readily adaptable to the impact of flooding, fires and eathquakes.


@kieranroconnor
kieran.oconnor@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Vancouver Island woman to attempt historic swim across Juan de Fuca Strait today

Ultra-marathon swimmer Susan Simmons to attempt to swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

Campfire ban coming into effect across West Coast

The Coastal Fire Centre says bans will begin on Wednesday

Purchase of barge brings total to five for Wichito Marine Services in Tofino

Local crew spent countless hours restoring the old piece of infrastructure.

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

RCMP looking for missing Duncan teen

Dallas Macleod, 18, was last seen on Aug. 10

Evacuation order issued in Island village due to “risk of falling debris”

Fire continues to threaten town’s only access road

B.C. man designer behind Canucks’ retro jersey

Jeremie White was 20 years old when he told Canucks assistant GM Brian Burke he had a design

Lions give up late TD in 24-23 loss to Argos

B.C. falls to 3-5, fumbling away last-minute chance in Toronto

Eagle tree cut down legally a 1st for B.C. city

Planned eagle preserve ‘a first for City of Surrey’

Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

Most Read