Robert Koch's Journal


Project 1: - visit this link in the Oculus Browser (or VR browser of your choice)

Project 1 Proposal: link

Presentation for Project 1 Proposal: link

Presentation for Project 1 Update: link

In-class activity: link

Final Presentation for Project 1: link

(note that you may need to download the .pptx file to view embedded videos)

Project 2 Proposal: link

Presentation for Project 2 Proposal: link

Presentation for Project 2 Update: link

Poster: link (PDF)

In-class Activity: link

Flash Talk Slide: link

Public Demo:


CONTRIBUTION 1: VR in Archaeology (an examination of current projects and the future potential of using VR as a tool for archaeologists and educators)

CONTRIBUTION 2: WebVR Mapping Projects (a comparison of two A-frame-based WebVR projects that take different approaches to creating explorable and editable maps of the world in VR)

CONTRIBUTION 3: added to Movement in VR (added information based on movement options/experience with A-frame)

CONTRIBUTION 4: Comparing 2D and 3D Census Data (comparison of two forms of data visualization that were important during my second project)

CONTRIBUTION 5: Networked A-Frame (an introduction to Networked A-Frame, a very useful tool for creating collaborative WebVR experiences that I used in my second project)

CONTRIBUTION 6: VR in the Social Sciences (an introduction to the use of VR for social science research)

CONTRIBUTION 7: VR and Reality Dissociation (overview of an interesting research paper about the effects of VR use on reality dissociation and mental health)


Total: 144 hours

HOURS journal

1/30/22 - 3 Hours

  • Setting up Slack, Journal, etc

  • Reading and getting familiar with the wiki

  • Finding changes to implement on last year's wiki:

    • 10 minute edits

      • Add a quick blurb for 'VR in Engineering' page before the sources

      • Same as above for 'VR in Psychology'

      • Under Related Technology > Tutorials > ARKit, create some content for the page so that it is not blank

    • 1 hour edits

      • Expand the 'TiltBrush, Virtual Music, and Audio Visualization Data in VR' page, potentially splitting it into two separate pages

      • Address all of the TODOs on the VR Development Software > Comparisons page

      • Expand and add more visuals to the VR Audio Comparison and WebVR Comparison pages

    • 10 hour edits

      • Expansion of VR User Experience section (under VR Development Software) -- revamp/expand the VR User Experience landing page, Object interactions information, and add more content or a new sub-page about how accessibility considerations play a role in VR User Experience design, after researching the topic

      • The VR Modeling Software section has a lot of helpful information, but a user may have to dig through each page to find the kind of software that suits their needs. The landing page (which currently only contains links to some of the sub-pages) could be revamped to include a full comparison table of all of the different modeling software options covered in the wiki, including example uses/applications of the different software. This would require more research and some graphic design to make the table readable while containing a fair amount of information

      • For the Applications of VR section, add some content to the landing page, and add more applications (travel/tourism, art, architecture, education, social events/recreation, etc)

1/31/22 - 3 Hours

  • Applying the third 10-minute edit (content for the ARKit landing page)

  • Added my name to the Journals page

  • Read about Facebook/Meta research reality lab's research areas

  • Read more about Unity's applications in VR development -- I've used Unity and C# a bit before, but not for VR development, so I'm interested to learn more about how it translates to VR

2/2/22 - 4 Hours

  • Set up Quest 2

  • Potential pieces of software:

    • Unreal Engine

    • Unity3D

    • ParaView

    • Visit

  • Project ideas:

    • Collaborative Archaeological Map: map of an archaeological site (potentially created using remote sensing/LiDAR data, Google Earth, ArcGIS, etc or some combination of the above) where archaeologists can log their current survey areas, dig sites, and other data from their work. This could allow for greater degrees of collaboration between different archaeology groups and programs. I also think that this would make experiencing the archaeological sites more immersive than (for example) viewing a satellite image from Google Earth. The scientific data visualization would likely include "crowdsourced" data on current survey sites, but could also include other kinds of scientific data (I would have to research this more).

    • US Census Data: map of the US from Google Earth or some other source with US Census Data overlaid on top of it (eg. in the form of a heat map or some other kind of visual representation). This could make Census data more immersive (rather than reading numbers off of the website) and involves visualization of social science-related data, but I would have to consider how collaboration would play a part in the project.

    • Node network of disease spread and evolution: visual graph of how a disease (eg. Covid) has spread while developing new variants. Could increase research collaboration between different groups of scientists and helps to visualize a large amount of data in a more immersive manner. I would need to do more research on how to best represent the data (on a map? in a point cloud? etc)

2/7/22 - 3 Hours

Project Ideas:

  • Collaborative Archaeological Map

    • During the project, I would need to (1) find an archaeological site that can be used as an example for the collaborative map, (2) find a map of the site that can be viewed in VR and overlaid with new information, and (3) determine how users can input data onto the map.

    • Class activity: Test inputting data onto the map or view data that has already been inputted.

    • Deliverables:

      • As I research ParaView as a potential software to use for the collaborative map, I can expand the current ParaView section under VR Visualization Software. I may also be able to expand the Comparison between Unity and ParaView for Geospatial data, if I also look into Unity.

      • I can add information to the wiki on the availability of Archaeological maps and other data that can be viewed in VR

      • Under Tutorials, expand or add a new tutorial for ParaView Geospatial Data

  • US Census Data

    • During this project, I would need to (1) determine what data from the US Census/American Community Survey I could use, (2) determine how to show a map of the US in VR, and (3) determine how to display the Census data on the map.

    • Class activity: Check census data from Rhode Island in VR.

    • Deliverables:

      • Depending on what software I use, I can expand one or more pages in the VR Modeling Software section

      • Under Applications of VR, I can create a section for VR in the social sciences and provide information on how VR data visualization could be beneficial to social scientists

      • Since US Census data is commonly viewed by the public, I could research how it could be viewed in accessible VR hardware like Google Cardboard and expand on the Google Cardboard section

  • Disease Spread/Evolution Network

    • During this project, I would need to find (1) a reliable and publicly-accessible source on Covid-19 spread or evolution data, (2) determine how that data would be best represented in VR, and (3) determine what software I could use for the project

    • Class activity: View Covid data at the same time as other students

    • Deliverables:

      • Expand on the VR in Medicine section of Applications of VR

      • After determining which data visualization software is most appropriate for a large dataset, I can expand on one or more of the pages in the VR Visualization Software section

      • Add a tutorial for transferring a large dataset into VR

2/9/22 - 3 Hours

  • Finish DinoVR tutorial

  • Project Planning: Collaborative Archaeological Map

    • 2/15

      • After researching current uses of VR in Archaeology, add a page to the wiki under 'Applications of VR' for 'VR in Archaeology'

      • See if there are any other existing pages that I can add to based on my research

    • 2/17

      • Finish and publish the 'VR in Archaeology' page, and use what I've learned to revise the content or scope of my project plan

    • 2/22

      • Familiarize myself with ParaView and try to import a map or landscape into the environment using the existing ParaView Geospatial Tutorial on the wiki

    • 3/01

      • Using ParaView, create an archaeology-related map or environment that can be viewed in VR

    • 3/03

      • Class activity: Have different students view the archaeological map in their VR headsets

      • Collect suggestions for features and improvements to implement over the next week

    • 3/08

      • Try to store data points on the archaeological map

    • 3/10

      • Try to implement functionality where one user can create a data point on the map, and a different user with a different headset can see that data point

      • Potential class activity: have one student create a data point on the map, and have another student try to find the data point.

2/14/22 - 4 Hours

  • Posted question for Kristi Potter

  • Powerpoint for project plan (linked at top of page)

  • Project plan questions (see above entry for timeline):

    • The proposed project clearly identifies deliverable additions to our VR Software Wiki - Agree (It seems like VR in Archaeology would be a relatively new topic for the wiki)

    • The proposed project involves collaboration in VR - Agree (viewing other users' data points on the map)

    • The proposed project involves large scientific data visualization along the lines of the "Scientific Data" wiki page and identifies the specific data type and software that it will use - Agree (data points on a map -- not large in scale, but still scientific data)

    • The proposed project has a realistic schedule with explicit and measurable milestones at least each week and mostly every class - Neither agree nor disagree (I have a draft schedule, but may need to make modifications as I go)

    • The proposed project includes an in-class activity - Agree (although the activity would happen near the end of the project term)

    • The proposed project has resources available with sufficient documentation - Neither agree nor disagree (I need to research this more before I can give a definitive answer)

2/15/22 - 2 Hours

  • Continue researching current state of VR usage in Archaeology

  • Journal self-evaluation

    • Journal activities are explicitly and clearly related to course deliverables: 4

    • deliverables are described and attributed in wiki: 3

    • report states total amount of time: 4

    • total time is appropriate: 3

  • In-class journal peer reviewers: Alastair and Paul

2/21/22 - 4 Hours

  • Researching current VR-related archaeology projects -- could include a case study in the VR in Archaeology page in the Wiki

  • Familiarizing myself with technology used by archaeologists that is applicable to VR tools (LiDAR, etc)

  • Exploring ParaView tutorials and forums for more solid ideas on how to implement the Collaborative Archaeological Map

  • Exploring Google Earth VR and its applicability to the project

  • Drafting VR in Archaeology Page for the Wiki

2/23/22 - 3 Hours

  • Translating current draft for VR in Archaeology to Wiki

    • Can expand/add new sections based on my notes

  • Familiarizing myself with ParaView in preparation for both the project and the in-class tutorial tomorrow

2/26/22 - 3 Hours

  • Researching viability of Google Earth VR and OpenStreetMap as bases for the Collaborative Archaeological Map

  • Exploring web-based VR possibilities (mainly A-Frame) -- this would be nice, but probably won't work out for this project

2/27/22 - 2 Hours

  • Completed the ParaView Geospatial data tutorial on the wiki

    • Exploring ParaView more as a potential way to host the data

2/28/22 - 5 Hours

  • Prep for Beatrice's in-class activity

  • Creating project update powerpoint

  • Adding more notes for the VR in Archaeology Wiki Page

  • Exploring Survey123 and ArcGIS VR as platforms for the Collaborative Archaeological Map

3/2/22 - 4 Hours

  • Created and tested the Survey123 system for inputting data for a site

  • Developing a plan for transferring the data into ParaView or another program

  • Finishing Beatrice's in-class activity

  • Prep for Amanda's in-class activity

3/4/22 - 4 Hours

  • Exploring VR Map (A-frame based) as a potential basis for a WebVR app for the archaeological map

  • Exploring A-terrain (also A-frame based) as another potential basis

    • Taking notes on comparison between the two apps; weighing pros and cons

3/5/22 - 6 Hours

  • Drafting a page for the wiki that compares VR Map and A-terrain

  • Leaning towards building off of VR Map at this point

  • Work through A-frame tutorials from the wiki and read documentation to familiarize myself with it (since both projects use A-frame, it will be helpful regardless)

3/7/22 - 6 Hours

  • Prep for my in-class activity -- building off of A-frame and adding scenes for locations around Brown's campus

  • Exploring Survey123 webhooks and functionality for automatically displaying survey data in the WebVR environment

  • Prep for Lucia's in-class activity

3/9/22 - 3 Hours

  • Reviewing feedback on my in-class activity and adjusting my timeline/deliverables as needed

  • Prep for Tongyu's and Mandy's in-class activities

3/11/22 - 2 Hours

  • Checking out other A-frame projects

  • Contributing to existing pages on the wiki with new information on WebVR

3/13/22 - 4 Hours

  • Continue working on the Collaborative Archaeological Map

    • Looking for the best system to automatically import user-sourced data into the VR environment without me having to do anything (eg. convert to JSON, etc)

    • Probably going to switch to a Google Form instead of Survey123, although users would have to type in latitude and longitude themselves (as opposed to selecting a point on a map in Survey123)

3/14/22 - 3 Hours

  • Switching to a Google Form and using OpenSheets API to convert sheet data to JSON and import into the project

  • Prep for Maia's and Shashidhar's in-class activities

3/15/22 - 6 Hours

  • Finalizing OpenSheets functionality and process for displaying the data as spheres with text labels in the WebVR environment

  • Transferring existing data from Survey123 to Google Sheets

  • Pushing to GitHub and recording video clips for powerpoint

  • Putting together final presentation powerpoint (linked at the top of this page)

3/16/22 - 1 Hour

  • Finalizing powerpoint and sending to Prof. Laidlaw

3/19/22 - 1 Hour

  • Reading through feedback on my final presentation for project 1

  • Brainstorming ideas for project 2

3/21/22 - 3 Hours

  • Reading the Seven Scenarios Paper

  • Potential plan for Project 2: Visualizing Large-Scale Census Data using A-Terrain

    • During this project, I would need to (1) find and import data from the US Census/American Community Survey into a format that can be displayed on a map in A-Terrain, (2) determine how to manipulate the A-Terrain project to best visualize the Census data in a map environment, and (3) integrate collaboration into the A-Terrain scene so that different users can see each other pointing to different points on the map

    • Class activity: Compare census data for Rhode Island over time

    • Section 6.4 (Collaborative Data Analysis): Users of the Census Data visualization should be able to see representations of each other in the same scene, which allows for collaboration and interacting with the map in a collective way. In comparison to the Collaborative Archaeological Map, where users each loaded their own scene and could not see each other, the Census Data visualization map would be the same for all users, allowing for much easier integration of collaboration.

    • Deliverables:

      • I can add more pages to the wiki about different aspects of A-Terrain, which is currently only covered by my comparison page (VR Map vs A-Terrain) from my work on Project 1

      • Under Applications of VR, I can create a page for "VR in the Social Sciences" and provide information and case studies on how VR data visualization has been used/can be used for demographic and social science-related data

      • Given that US Census data is public and commonly used by a variety of different people (it is more general than Archaeological data, for example), the Web VR environment of A-Terrain would make the project more accessible to a variety of different people. I can also add more pages to the wiki about other avenues for increasing accessibility, including inexpensive hardware (eg. Google Cardboard with Web VR) and other topics

3/23/22 - 3 Hours

  • Creating presentation for Project 2 proposal (linked at the top of this page)

  • Developing project 2 timeline

  • Exploring wiki to determine which pages I can add or contribute to

4/4/22 - 3 Hours

  • Prep for Aakansha's, Nick's, and Jenn's in-class activities

  • Evaluating project 2 timeline and deliverables post-break

4/6/22 - 3 Hours

  • Joining A-Frame collective GitHub repo

  • Researching existing A-Frame projects on Mozilla developer website/blog to get ideas

  • Experimenting more with the different functions of A-Terrain

4/9/22 - 4 Hours

  • Researching VR in Social Sciences and developing a draft for a wiki page (under Applications of VR)

  • Familiarizing myself with A-Frame source code through GitHub repo

4/11/22 - 3 Hours

  • Refresher on Bloom Taxonomy and Seven Scenarios paper

  • Prep for peer journal review

  • Feedback forms for in-class activities

4/13/22 - 3 Hours

  • Researching Glitch vs GitHub pages for hosting final project -- I used GitHub pages last time, but may want to try Glitch since it seems like a popular choice for other students who used A-frame

  • Reviewing and updating journal

  • Checking class board doc for missing pictures

4/17/22 - 4 Hours

  • Familiarizing myself with the networked-aframe (NAF) GitHub repo

    • Worked through the NAF getting started guide

      • I think that I may try using Glitch to host the collaborative app instead of GitHub pages, which is what I used last time

    • Multi-user functionality works in the tutorial envrionment:

  • I'll need to determine how well NAF and A-Terrain work together (A-Terrain doesn't appear to have been updated in 3-4 years, so I'm a bit worried... may need to consider a Plan B)

4/18/22 - 2 Hours

  • Making project progress report pptx (linked at the top of this page)

4/20/22 - 5 Hours

  • Prep for Amanda and Mandy's in class activities

  • Checking compatibility between NAF and A-Terrain

    • Since A-Terrain is on a much older version of A-Frame, it seems very difficult to get them to work together

    • Some aspects of A-Terrain are also not working by themselves, since the project has not been updated too recently

4/25/22 - 3 Hours

  • Prep for Tongyu's in-class activity

  • Looking at the potential of using the 3D map of census data from 2015 as a collaborative space with NAF

4/27/22 - 5 Hours

  • Prep for Shashidar, Aakansha, and Lucia's in class activities

  • Continued exploring potential of adding NAF to 3D map of census data

    • Difficult to get working because the 3D map has not been updated since 2018, so many of the Node.js dependencies (about 48) of them are out of date/no longer supported, so the project falls apart if I try to clone it onto my own computer or make any changes

    • 3D map seems to only be preserved via the GitHub pages link on the repo, so I may just have to use that for my in-class activity

  • Exploring 3D map functionality in VR -- does not seem to work on Oculus Browser (A-Frame version is too old, and changing the version makes everything break)

4/28/22 - 4 Hours

  • Developing a Networked A-Frame envrionment with a Census map in it

    • Trying to figure out how to overlay data onto the map by making a request to the Census Bureau API and then representing the data on the map with A-Frame shapes (most likely dots on the map)

4/29/22 - 4 Hours

  • Continuing to experiment with NAF and census data

    • I have a map image that can be visualized in a NAF envrionment, which I can use for my in-class activity

    • NAF envrionment will be hosted on Glitch, but I can try to push to GitHub as well for the final version

  • Other users appear as the NAF sphere avatars (seen above in orange)

  • Finishing up work before Spring Weekend

5/2/22 - 5 Hours

  • Prep for Beatrice and Maia's in class activities

  • Prep for my own in-class activity

    • Making a guide page on the google site

    • Tinyurl links for a 2D census map, 3D map, and NAF envrionment with map (seen above)

    • Directions for controlling movement (somewhat finnicky in 3D map)

    • Final testing for 3D map in Firefox Reality -- somewhat unstable but much better than Oculus Browser

    • Creating google form for feedback

  • In-class activity page (as linked at the top): link

5/4/22 - 4 Hours

  • Prep for Paul, Alastair, Jenn, and Nick's in class activities

  • Fining datasets to visualize in NAF envrionment

5/7/22 - 3 Hours

  • Working more with population datasets

    • While the other datasets have been interesting to look through (this visualization is particularly cool!), I think that I'll stick with a simple dataset from the Census Bureau

    • The state population dataset seems relatively easy to work with, for example

  • Testing API calls to Census API using Glitch

    • Glitch has a special process for adding variables like API keys to .env

5/8/22 - 2 Hours

  • After successful API call, working on adding a kind of bar graph that can be seen across a blank US state map, with one bar above each state

    • Bar will most likely represent population of the state

  • Would be nice to add functionality to allow user to point at state and see the population number

5/9/22 - 4 Hours

  • Creating powerpoint for final project 2 presentation

  • Creating powerpoint for full-semester flash talk

  • Practicing keeping the flash talk to 40 seconds and project presentation to 3 minutes

  • Finishing work on Wiki pages for Networked A-Frame and VR in Social Sciences

    • will add screenshots of these to the first powerpoint

5/12/22 - 1 Hour

  • Began working on a poster using powerpoint for the final presentation day next week

5/14/22 - 2 Hours

  • Finalizing wiki pages for Networked A-Frame and VR in Social Science (both linked at the top)

    • I also found an interesting research paper on the relationship between VR and Reality Dissociation while I was researching VR in Social Science. This could be an interesting topic for another wiki page

5/15/22 - 2 Hour

5/17/22 - 3 Hours

  • Small revisions to flash talk slide (linked at the top of this page)

  • Creating poster with information from projects 1 and 2, along with introduction and discussion sections

5/18/22 - 2 Hours

  • Printing poster at the CIT

  • Self-evaluation sent to David and Ross

  • Looking over journal and fixing any missing information or links

  • Getting ready for final presentations tomorrow!