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Slipstreaming Human Geosimulation in Virtual Geographic Environments

Slipstreaming Human Geosimulation in Virtual Geographic Environments


Virtual geographic environments (VGEs) have long enjoyed significant synergy with geosimulation as a visual medium for model results, but more could be done to fashion two-way harmony between them, with the potential benefit that geosimulation could usefully serve as a process engine for VGEs and as a unifying scaffold for connecting VGEs to other systems. In this article, I argue for three promising bridges between geosimulation and VGEs. First, geosimulation could be relied upon in introducing synthetic human characters in VGEs to augment the significant physical detail that VGEs currently provide with ambient behavioural processes. Second, building blocks of geosimulation, based around polyspatial automata, could help to resolve long-standing requirements for common data and process models for VGEs. Finally, slipstreaming of geographic information across geosimulation and VGE scaffolds could be useful in reconciling diverse and many-model processes, with disparate form and scales, in a cohesive pipeline. Together, these three variations can facilitate the exchange of diverse model objects, processes, and information between geosimulation and VGEs, greatly expanding their interoperability and explorative reach. I demonstrate the usefulness of these developments with example scenarios that focus on urban mobilities, urban complexity, and urban failures in both ordinary and extraordinary scenarios. Applications to urban phenomena, in particular, may have particular value as we approach new vantages on cities supported by big data, big awareness, and immersive media that greatly expand the volume, breadth, and depth of questioning that our VGEs may be called on to support.

Publication Information

Full Citation: 

Torrens, Paul. 2015. "Slipstreaming Human Geosimulation in Virtual Geographic Environments." Annals of GIS 21 (February): 325-344. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/19475683.2015.1009489

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