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

Ucluelet fears orca protection could shut down fisheries

“I beg you to start a process to put a stick in the wheels and slow these people down.”

Ucluelet mayor thanks team at last meeting

Dianne St. Jacques is not running for re-election this month.

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

10 things still illegal in the new age of recreational cannabis

Pot is legal – but there are still a lot of rules, and breaking some could leave you in jail

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Mellow opening to B.C.’s only legal pot shop

About five people lined up early for the opening of the BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops.

Earth still moving in Old Fort, B.C., but not above homes: geologists

Transportation Ministry crews are ready to start work on the Old Fort road

Around the BCHL: Youth trumps experience for Chilliwack and Salmon Arm

Around the BCHL is a look at goings-on in the BCHL and the junior A world.

GoByBike challenge launched in Ucluelet

Participants get a chance to win a cycle tour in Sicily, Italy.

Proportional representation grows government, B.C. study finds

Spending, deficits higher in countries where voting system used

Black market will thrive until small pot growers and sellers included: advocates

Advocates say the black market will continue to thrive until small retail shops and craft growers are included in the regime.

Goodbye cable, hello Netflix: 1/3 of Canadians cut the cord

Just under half of households no longer have a landline phone

‘Some baloney’ in assertion Canada’s pension fund has highest ethical standards

The Canadian Press Baloney Meter is a dispassionate examination of political statements culminating in a ranking of accuracy on a scale of “no baloney” to “full of baloney”.

In Mexico Beach after Hurricane Michael, some coming home find no home

State emergency management officials said some 124,500 customers across the Panhandle were still without power Wednesday morning and 1,157 remained in shelters.

Most Read