Thesis subject

MSc thesis topic: Virtual Reality for Geo-Spatial Planning applications

VR is ideal for communication, collaboration and facilitates a better understanding of environments in finer detail. This is particularly useful within the geo-spatial planning domain, where engineers already use digital tools like geographic information systems to design and map urban environments. However, VR has the potential to further improve existing geo-spatial planning approaches. It is an ideal solution for displaying spatial data and solving problems that involve spatial factors in a collaborative/communicative manner. Additionally, the integration between VR and GIS provides a way to further analyse results for quantification purposes as well as potential input datasets for VR applications.

VR technologies have become more affordable and mainstream (e.g. Google Cardboard, Aryzon, Zappar, etc.). It is possible to develop VR applications, which function smoothly, on modern-day smart phones. App construction has also been simplified by technologies such as Unity XR and third-party software development kits, often meaning the level of code needed to create functioning applications is greatly reduced. The integration between, GIS and VR has evolved, however there are still some challenges when integrating geodata/GIS platforms with these systems and vice versa that merit investigation.

Relevance research/projects

Geo-data visualization through immersive technologies. This thesis topic is a collaboration with the Information Technology group (INF) whose expertise/guidance on VR deployment though game engines is required for this project.

  1. To investigate case studies on the impact VR has for improving (one of the following:) communication, planning, participation, project management and policy-making.
  2. To develop a framework for VR integration into existing geo-spatial planning workflows.
  3. To develop a prototype VR application as a demonstration of the technology
  4. To assess the prototype potential for use in space planning applications.



  • An appreciation/interest in 3D and mixed reality technologies.
  • Basic programming skills (e.g. Python) are advantageous but not mandatory

Theme(s): Modelling & visualisation