Atlanta has the reputation of being a "city in a forest", with a large and varied tree population that provides shade for its residents, a habitat for wildlife, consumes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, produces life-giving oxygen, in addition to many other benefits. In keeping with its context and commitments to environmental awareness and conservancy, the Georgia Tech campus contains hundreds of species of trees that cover the landscape.

The Imagine Lab is building an Augmented Reality application for mobile devices and tablets through which the myriad trees can be viewed interactively. In the app, the user can touch a tree and receive information from a vast database telling the user all the information about it: age, size, species. Not only can the user interact with the visible world, they are also capable of seeing projected tree growth for the next 10, 25, and 50 years, where newly planted trees will grow into shade-giving behemoths, all rendered in 3D on the screen. In addition, the user can experience the subterranean world, with interactive animations for the nearly unprecedented 1.4 million gallon cistern under Tech Green that provides water for the Clough Undergraduate Learning Center and local irrigation. The app allows for someone to receive an augmented view of the world in front of them, enhanced with illustrative educational information that will nurture the environmental consciousness of the user, making them aware of the tremendous benefits of having a green campus, how the systems work, and what it means for the future.

Matthew Swarts