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MarsCAPE: Mars Communicated through an Augmented, Physical Environment

Sprinks, James; Dowthwaite, Liz; Priestnall, Gary; Wardlaw, Jessica


James Sprinks

Jessica Wardlaw


In the last decade, vast amounts of planetary science data has been made available publicly often focused on Mars. Such data is typically disseminated via the web and made available through screen-based visualisations. However, this approach can make it difficult to convey the broader context of a feature of interest or the spatial arrangement of surface phenomena. To better support learning and engagement, we present and evaluate MarsCAPE: Mars Communicated through an Augmented, Physical Environment. MarsCAPE consists of physical models of the surface of Mars, augmented by projected information and visualizations. To assess its learning and engagement value, a structured workshop and formal evaluation were conducted. Participants reported a significant increase in knowledge, found the models engaging, and exhibited natural learning without prompting. Systems such as MarsCAPE have potential to provide an interesting, educational way for the public to access planetary data that goes beyond the capabilities of on-screen visualizations.


Sprinks, J., Dowthwaite, L., Priestnall, G., & Wardlaw, J. (2020). MarsCAPE: Mars Communicated through an Augmented, Physical Environment. IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, 40(2), 43-56.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 13, 2020
Online Publication Date Jan 16, 2020
Publication Date Feb 28, 2020
Deposit Date Feb 4, 2020
Publicly Available Date Apr 3, 2020
Journal IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications
Print ISSN 0272-1716
Electronic ISSN 1558-1756
Publisher Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 40
Issue 2
Pages 43-56
Keywords Software; Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
Public URL
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Additional Information © 2020 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.


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