29 June 2016

Video Tutorials: Variables in Fieldscapes

We've posted up two new videos to show you how to use variables in Fieldscapes. More to follow as this is an important area to create more complex exercises.

The first video gives a basic introduction to variables in Fieldscapes and shows how they can be used as both an interaction counter and to drive exercise events, such as bringing an exercise to an end.

The second video shows you how to use variables to control access to the objects in scene. For instance a student could have to answer a set of questions correctly, or complete some tasks before the system reveals a key piece of information or a reward

28 June 2016

Video Tutorial: Dynamic Filtering in Datascape2XL

This video shows how a dataset can be dynamically filtered (what we call scrubbing) by using a set of sliders to set up a range of values for a field to include, and then also being able to slide that window through the data.

22 June 2016

Fieldscapes Video - Introducing the Editor

We've put together a short video showing how the Fieldscapes Editor can be used to create a very simple "Hello World" type exercise. Even though it's short it introduces you to most of the basic concepts of how the editor works:

- Everything is tied to a location

- You choose props from inventory lists, and place them as you want

- You define what student interactions a prop responds to

- You define a list of actions that a prop does in response to the student action

That's it really. We'll do more videos to introduce the more advanced features such as variables, rules, multi-choice which added together enable you to create quite complex exercises without resorting to a line of code.

You can read more about the editor on the Fieldscapes Wiki.

21 June 2016

Datascape Snippets

We've started posting 30 second Datascape videos up to Twitter. So as to make them more generally available we're now also posting them up to our Datascape channel on You Tube. There are 4 snippets so far:

  • Closest Stars
  • Refugee Data
  • Guide Lines and rotating camera
  • NSA CDX Cyber-security data

More to follow at hopefully a rate of about one a week. Make sure you subscribe!

17 June 2016

First Fieldscape Video - A Field Trip to the Moon!

We've posted up our first video of the Explorer app from the Fieldscapes project - showing a field trip to the moon!

Fieldscapes: Apollo Educate (work in progress) from DadenMedia on Vimeo.

It's all very much work in progress but hopefully gives you some idea of the very clean and simple user interface that students can have in Fieldscapes, and how some of the basic interactions will work. Over the coming months we'll post up several more Moon based field-trips to show how we can use the editor to create very different feeling experiences from the same location and props. We'll also post up more Earth-bound field trips of course!

Make sure you follow the Fieldscapes Video Channel to catch further videos.

The video is also available on YouTube.

9 June 2016

Three Virtual Reality Apps in a Month!

A trio of virtual reality applications have been launched in one month on the Google Play Store by Birmingham based virtual reality and 3D specialist Daden Limited.

Two of the applications support Daden’s Virtual Field Trips project for Innovate UK, the UK’s Innovation Agency; designed to prepare students going on field trips by allowing them to get to know the site beforehand and supporting classwork and revision after the trip. Both apps are set in Carding Mill Valley on the Long Mynd in Shropshire, a popular fieldtrip site.

The third application, iCentrumVR, allows users to take a guided tour of Innovation Birmingham’s latest campus building, by moving their phone to look around a series of 360 degree photospheres, as well as accessing information about the building and its facilities, including its impressive event space, start-up support programme and office suites for digital start-ups.

All three of the mobile applications are free to download, and can be used with or without a Google cardboard Virtual Reality headset.

Based at Innovation Birmingham Campus, Daden has been providing 3D immersive applications for over a decade and recently expanded its team by 50% in response to increased demand.

David Burden, Managing Director at Daden, said: “The fact that we can release three virtual reality applications in a month shows how affordable we can now make this technology for organisations looking to promote their own venue or business, or to educate and train their own staff or students. It’s also testament to our staff that they can get to grips with these innovative technologies so quickly."
“These apps show that VR need not be confined to big brands and Hollywood style budgets, it is a marketing, sales and education tool which is very much here and now.”

Sean, Nash and Joe - the developers behind the three apps

8 June 2016

Cyberdata in Datascape2


We're working our way through some of our favourite Datascape1 visualisations as a way of testing out Datascape 2. This one shows some cyber data from an NSA CDX exercise. Each line is a data packet going between two computers. The home network is the bottom "layer", and foreign networks are stacked above. Each node is a computer terminating a packet at a particular time, and is shaped by source/destination, and coloured by port. Lines are sized to data packet size and coloured by protocol.

There are lots of very obvious activity patterns which belie certain types of network behaviour, and anything moving from the home network to another network (any line with a vertical component) is immediately of interest.


As the video clip on Twitter shows if you hover over any node or edge you can see its details.

3 June 2016

Fieldscapes Editor - The First Exercises


We're making great progress with the Fieldscapes Editor now. With the Player/Explorer effectively done the focus is now very much on the Editor and the Infrastructure.

The Fieldscapes Wiki already gives an idea of how the Fieldscapes authoring process will work - and it's very much authoring not programming as it's just form filling with no syntax to worry about! In summary to create a Fieldscapes exercise you:

  • Choose a location (we'll provide generic ones as well as models of real world places, and if you've the 3D Unity skills you can contribute your own)
  • Choose a prop and then drag it into a location on the landscape (we provide a set of generic markers - info point, image point, quiz etc, as well as topic specific objects, e.g geography field trip, biology field trip etc)
  • Click on the prop to set its behaviours - such as:
    • Whether its visible at start
    • Whether it displays a message/image window, and the content thereof
    • Whether it changes the state of another prop (eg making the next point on a route appear)
    • Whether it changes the value of a variable (eg count of places visited)
    • Whether it stays visible and/or stays active
  • Move on to the next prop.
  • Save and test, and refine til ready

We'll post more updates as the editor develops, and hopefully put up a video of the editing process in the next couple of weeks.

1 June 2016

Carding Mill Valley VR Photosphere App Launched

Today we've launched our 3D Photosphere VR app for Carding Mill Valley. You can download it from the Android Play Store (just search "cardingmill") to your Android phone, and it works with or without a Google VR Headset.

This app is intended as a counter-part to our FieldscapesVR app so that people can compare the two approaches to virtual reality field trips. With this app there are three photospheres which give you a photo-realistic view of the valley at 3 key points. However you cannot visit any other part of the valley, or fly around.

By contrast FieldscapesVR provides a 3D model of the valley which is less realistic looking than the photospheres, but which allows you to move anywhere around (and above) the detailed 3D model. In due course we will also be able to provide far more interactivity in the 3D model version than in the Photosphere.

The valley is a popular site for school field trips and the application is primarily intended to allow schools to:

  • virtually visit the site whilst planning their field trip
  • to use when back at school as part of their further studies and during revision

The application is very much intended as a "beta" of the final product, so we'd be delighted to hear your views.

The application can be used without a VR Headset in a normal "single-screen" mode but we recommend buying an Amazon Cardboard to get the full benefit (and it makes it a lot easier to use out on the ground in bright sunlight!). If you do need a headset, ensure that you get one which has a button or trigger, as that is (currently) required to use the app in VR mode.

Do try both versions and let us know how they compare either: