Virtual Geographic Environment: A Workspace for Computer-Aided Geographic Experiments

2013/05/03

Journal:《Annals of the Association of American Geographers》

Cite as:Lin H, Chen M, Lu G. Virtual Geographic Environment: A Workspace for Computer-Aided Geographic Experiments[J]. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 2013, 103(3):465-482.

Abstract:A virtual geographic environment (VGE) is a type of workspace for computer-aided geographic experiments (CAGEs) and geographic analyses. By supporting geo-visualization, geo-simulation, geo-collaboration, and human participation, it provides open virtual environments that correspond to the real world to assist computer-aided geographic experiments involving both the physical and human dimensions. Based on a discussion of how VGEs can contribute to CAGEs and geographic analyses, this article proposes a clear, systematic framework for VGEs. Four subenvironments are discussed according to their different functions, pertinent issues, and corresponding solutions: (1) the data environment, (2) the modeling and simulation environment, (3) the interactive environment, and (4) the collaborative environment. Furthermore, a case on the simulation of air pollution and its analysis at different geographic scales is used to demonstrate VGEs' ability to facilitate computer-aided geographic experiments.