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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: The day 28,000 Lollapalooza-goers rocked Cloverdale in 1994

Fans share memories of drugs, bad Smashing Pumpkins, Nick Cave walk-off and ‘letdown’ of Surrey date

Surrey veteran feels pinch from COVID-19 after cancelled surgery

Caught between two countries, and low income, soldier feels he’s been forgotten

Surrey parents, students navigate remote learning during COVID-19

The Surrey school district teachers are slowly rolling out plans for new way of educating

Two people fined for trying to re-sell N95 and surgical masks in Delta

Police confiscated over 5,000 masks and are working with Fraser Health to see them put to good use

Peace Arch News ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

VIDEO: ‘Used gloves and masks go in the garbage,’ says irked B.C. mayor

Health officials have said single-use gloves won’t do much to curb the spread of COVID-19

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Vancouver man, 21, charged after mother found dead in Squamish home

Ryan Grantham, 21, has been charged with second-degree murder

Fraser Valley’s tulips fields off limits to visitors due to COVID-19

Abbotsford and Chilliwack tulip farmers have announced their festival season won’t go ahead

Don’t stop going to the doctor, just do it virtually: B.C. association

Doctors encourage patients to access telephone, online visits

Most Read