Comparing Juxtaposed 3D Terrain Representations to Enhance Mountainous Landscape Understanding
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Hillwalkers often assess 2D maps of mountainous areas prior to embarking on a hiking trip to obtain an understanding of the landscape. 3D maps offer a more naturalistic means of interpreting landscapes than 2D map depictions of a 3D landscape. This paper discusses the methodology for creating a web application with the facility for viewing two 3D digital terrain models side-by-side to allow a visual comparison. This is hypothesised to allow knowledge of one landscape to be extrapolated towards the understanding of another. User testing results for the application, from a sampled group of hillwalkers, conducted to identify if this application could be of use when planning where to go hiking, are then discussed. The paper concludes that the capability of visually comparing terrains, within a web application, can be used by hillwalkers to gain an enhanced understanding of landscape characteristics and relative scale. The requirement for further work, to determine the strength of the results discussed in this paper, is also highlighted.