I can talk for hours on the importance of Virtual Reality for GIS but then you might have known the facts through industry experts. Just imagine how easy it becomes when you can physically inspect the elements of an area virtually through the advancements in VR. Elements can now be inspected from a First Person perspective and this enables adding head attitude tracking support, and stereo rendering. Thus the user can now explore a 3D virtual earth in first person with his mobile device.
Fresh avenues are opening up in personal, public and environmental health sectors. Be it urban planning and building smart cities, or virtual tourism and 360 degree views, or emergency preparedness of a city/county; GIS applications are trending.
Recently in the newspaper, there were two interesting news items which demonstrates how virtual reality applications in the GIS space are a boon to users.
Firstly, a mix of Virtual Reality(VR), Augmented Reality(AR) and Mixed Reality(MR) was used to facilitate the corporate real estate owners and facilities management by using Microsoft holo lens for the visualisation of maintenance workflows, the overlay of data relevant to physical objects and Building Information Modelling(BIM). This also enables the teams to work virtually without the limitations of the physical space.
Secondly, layering a proposed layer over an actual layer in real time was implemented for urban planners by integrating custom made engines with the VR headsets. This also aids for a transition from virtual reality to augmented reality, exploring even higher dimensions in the space.
As we peek into the future, the possibilities in the VRGIS space are limitless. As it enters other arenas it can afford further useful benefits. If matched well with the industries, VRGIS applications can be leveraged for healthier and safer living.