We present advances in the development of TanGeoMS, tangible geospatial modeling and visualization system. By coupling a physical three-dimensional landscape model, Kinect scanner, projector, and open source GIS software suite GRASS GIS, we created an intuitive tangible interface for dynamic modeling of real-world processes in response to different terrain data inputs. How does it work? You modify the flexible physical model by hands while it is being scanned, imported and processed in GRASS GIS. After computing a desired geospatial analysis or dynamic simulation, the results are projected back on the physical model providing you with instant feedback.
With TanGeoMS we can explore how dune breaches affect coastal flooding, how the spread of fire is influenced by location of firebreaks or what is the effectiveness of various landscape designs for controlling runoff and erosion. We can add buildings and assess the distribution of solar radiation for different building sizes and locations or explore impacts of built structures and trees on line of sight and viewsheds. We will cover new 3D manufacturing technologies and materials we use to create precise physical models and discuss various options for single user and collaborative system designs. Whether you are involved in environmental modeling, decision-making, education or you are just curious, you will find this talk inspiring for your own projects.