Virtual Reality Lab
The impact of viewing condition on landscape evaluations.
Adding a feeling of presence to photo based studies using a large curved display. A joint paper with Caroline Hagerhall for ECLAS 2010 conference. Istanbul/Turkey
Field experiments are costly and time consuming and limit the number of environments that can be tested. Hence the use of photographic representations as a substitute for on-site experience of landscapes is common in research on human evaluations of landscapes. Photo based studies furthermore provide experimental control and also makes it possible to study future landscapes using simulation techniques. There is however an ongoing discussion concerning the validity of photo based studies. Studies have been made on various types of representations, such as normal photographs, panoramic photographs and videos but the results concerning validity are inconsistent and point to a more complex relationship between stimuli and evaluations (Daniel T. C. & Meitner M.M. 2002; Hull R.B. & Stewart W.P.1992; Kellomaki S. & Sacolainen R. 1984; Shuttleworth S. 1980; Stamps A.E. 1990; Oh K. 1994). One important difference between an on-site experience and viewing a photographic representation is the sense of presence, a difference of being in or looking at the landscape. Apart from on-site factors that could affect other senses than vision, the extent of the visual environment differs greatly between a small size photo and being surrounded by the environment in the field. (IJsselsteijn W. & Riva G. 2003; Lombard M. & Ditton T. 1997; Zeltzer D.1992; Flach J.M. & Holden J.G. 1998; Slater M. 2009).
Landscape experience in a VR environment
Photo: Ramzi Hassan
In this study we compared evaluations of forests with three different degrees of biodiversity when viewed on a normal computer screen and displayed on a large curved display (curving 160 degrees with 7m width x 3m height). The curved display screen is part of a virtual reality theater used for visualizing and interacting with three-dimensional models. In order to accomplish a feeling of presence in the scene, a system configuration is developed for this experiment. The method is based on using photo-based modelling technique combined with real movement through a stereoscopic projected scene. 42 students (21 for each viewing condition) evaluated the forest images using the Basic Emotional Qualities scale. This instrument is based on the Human–Environment Interaction model (HEI) developed by Küller (Küller 1991; Johansson and Laike 2007). The HEI model takes a neuropsychological perspective on emotions and describes a basic emotional process that involves the four components activation (e.g. alert/sleepy), orientation (e.g. interested/bored), evaluation (e.g. happy/sad) and control (e.g. confident/hesitant).
Updated: 07.03.11Printerfriendly version
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