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Innovation journey of the Digital Earth Node (DEN): Experiences, ideas and future opportunities

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There is an increasing need for readily-accessible virtual meeting spaces to connect decision-makers from different geographic locations and share spatial data for timely decision making. This paper presents the journey to date in pre-totyping and prototyping a Digital Earth Node’ (DEN) remote, immersive collaboration space to support learning, creating, and developing spatial capabilities, including the core one-touch “all-in” feature. It describes the innovative digital collaboration method that creates a high-trust, private and fast experience that makes accessibility of multiple data sets and monitors possible over low bandwidth mobile networks. This uncovers opportunities for field applications that include mobile vehicle data centres with modular mobile bandwidth leverage, creating a high redundancy network and large-scale collaboration offering. The authors discuss insights into improved decision-making and integrated policies, including the potential for programs that support engagement and collaboration between government, industry and academic researchers globally. The findings have implications to solve challenges from immediate disaster response and recovery, to planning for resilient communities, built environments and supporting infrastructure.
IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science
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Innovation journey of the Digital Earth Node (DEN): Experiences, ideas
and future opportunities
To cite this article: C Desha et al 2020 IOP Conf. Ser.: Earth Environ. Sci. 509 012012
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11th International Symposium on Digital Earth (ISDE 11)
IOP Conf. Series: Earth and Environmental Science 509 (2020) 012012
IOP Publishing
doi:10.1088/1755-1315/509/1/012012
1
Innovation journey of the Digital Earth Node (DEN):
Experiences, ideas and future opportunities
C Desha1, L Perez-Mora1, S Caldera1, H Fukui2 and C Naidoo3
1 Digital Earth and Green Infrastructure, Cities Research Institute (CRI), Griffith University, 170
Kessels Road, Nathan Campus, Queensland Australia 4111.
2 Director, International Digital Earth Applied Science Research Center, Chubu University, 1200,
Matsumoto-cho, Kasugai-shi, Aichi, Japan, 487-8501.
3 Director, Q1 Design, Brisbane Queensland Australia 4001.
E-mail: c.desha@griffith.edu.au
Abstract. There is an increasing need for readily-accessible virtual meeting spaces to connect
decision-makers from different geographic locations and share spatial data for timely decision
making. This paper presents the journey to date in pre-totyping and prototyping a Digital Earth
Node’ (DEN) remote, immersive collaboration space to support learning, creating, and
developing spatial capabilities, including the core one-touch “all-in” feature. It describes the
innovative digital collaboration method that creates a high-trust, private and fast experience that
makes accessibility of multiple data sets and monitors possible over low bandwidth mobile
networks. This uncovers opportunities for field applications that include mobile vehicle data
centres with modular mobile bandwidth leverage, creating a high redundancy network and large-
scale collaboration offering. The authors discuss insights into improved decision-making and
integrated policies, including the potential for programs that support engagement and
collaboration between government, industry and academic researchers globally. The findings
have implications to solve challenges from immediate disaster response and recovery, to
planning for resilient communities, built environments and supporting infrastructure.
1. Introduction
With the advancement of digital and geospatial technology, everyone and everything in the world is
connected [1]. Within this realm there is an increasing need for readily-accessible virtual meeting spaces
to connect decision-makers from different geographic locations and share spatial data for timely decision
making. Furthermore, there are significant drivers to manage the amount of air travel undertaken in the
increasingly global workplace, spanning the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, addressing security
risks, and improving response times for disaster management and incident response. In this extended
abstract, the authors overview the journey phases to date in creating remote immersive collaboration
spaces in the form of ‘DENs’, and potential to address community-driven, cross-sectoral research to
provide tangible, creative solutions for disaster management. The paper discuss insights into improved
decision-making and integrated policies, including the potential for programs that support engagement
and collaboration between government, industry and academic researchers globally. Essentially, DENs
create spaces for people anywhere on the planet to connect and interact in high-trust environments, via
low-bandwidth internet, feeling physically in the same space, and collaboratively working in real-time
with information. The initiative spans four phases, with the first two complete and third underway as
highlighted in the following sections.
11th International Symposium on Digital Earth (ISDE 11)
IOP Conf. Series: Earth and Environmental Science 509 (2020) 012012
IOP Publishing
doi:10.1088/1755-1315/509/1/012012
2
2. Phase 1: Set Up (January 2017 December 2017)
During this initial phase the authors sought to understand the problem and to secure funding to undertake
the proof of concept. Beginning with a visit and keynote lecture to Griffith University by Chubu
University’s Professor Fukui (January 2017), the research team worked on potential areas to apply this
system and other research which could take place within this innovation, with resilience and post
emergency management defined as key focus areas. In April 2017 the Griffith University team formed
a connection with the International Society of Digital Earth (ISDE) and became a research node [2] as
well as visiting the EU Joint Research Centre and Chubu University (two ISDE Chapter members).
Engaging with end-user desires, Phase 1 involved creating a full-scale model of (preto-typing) the layout
(Desha et al, 2018). Griffith University also created an MoU with Chubu University to pursue Digital
Earth education and research going forward.
3. Phase 2: Proof of Concept Demonstration (January 2018 July 2019)
In Phase 2, with University seed-funding and Industry in-kind contributions, the research team
prototyped (fit-out) two Digital Earth Node ‘DEN’ rooms on Gold Coast and Nathan campuses,
demonstrating the technology in March 2018. With end-user feedback the technology was then further
refined to enable interaction with multiple screens using a mobile device with low bandwidth internet
connection in contrast to high-powered computers with ultra-high bandwidth cabled internet connection.
The resultant “all-in” one-touch feature (Q1 software) enables interaction where information is passed
as event packets and data is not stored on servers. This digital collaboration method creates a secure,
private and fast experience that makes accessibility of multiple data sets and monitors possible over low
bandwidth mobile networks. This uncovered opportunities for field applications including mobile
vehicle data centres with modular mobile bandwidth leverage, creating a high redundancy network and
large-scale collaboration offering. The research team presented an update to the 2018 ISDE Conference
[3] on the technology, and made a second visit to the European Joint Research Centre (ISDE Chapter
Member). They presented the case study of the New South Wales Volunteer Rescue Association (NSW
VRA) at the 2019 SSF Conference (Melbourne). The researchers also worked with Griffith Universitys
Digital Services to enable internet connectivity that meets security needs of education environments.
4. Phase 3: User Case Studies (August 2019December 2019)
In Phase 3, the research team are documenting user case studies as researchers and other academics
within Griffith University use the two DEN facilities on Nathan and Gold Coast campuses. Through
survey, interview and meta-data analysis of the room use information (gathered via the All-in platform),
the facility will be evaluated for performance, to then address the feedback in anticipation of Phase 4.
5. Phase 4: External Connectivity & Deployment (January 2019 onwards)
The researchers will connect the two prototype rooms beyond the Griffith University security protection,
to communicate externally in a secure manner. Future opportunities for collaboration include:
Connecting directly with facilities and/or DENs in other ISDE chapters.
Applying the technology as a mechanism to assist disaster and resilience management agenda
in Queensland and elsewhere.
Applying the technology as a future phase within the New South Wales Volunteer Rescue
Association’s establishment.
The authors look forward to hearing from colleagues who are interested in exploring these or other
future ideas as we progress on the DEN innovation journey.
References
[1] Desha C, Foresman T and Vancheswaran A 2017 Pivotal principles for digital earth development in the
twenty-first century. Int. J. Digital. Earth. 10(4) 371385
[2] Mohamed-Ghouse Z, Desha C, Perez-Mora L 2019 Chapter 23: Digital Earth in Australia, in Guo H et al.
Manual of Digital Earth, International Society of Digital Earth (London: Springer Nature)
[3] Desha C, Crawford K and Perez-Mora L 2018 Creating digital earth node (DEN) rooms for immersive
collaborative experiences. In: ISDE11. Chouaib Douakkali University, Morocco, 1719 April 2018
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  • Z Mohamed-Ghouse
  • C Desha
  • L Perez-Mora
  • H Guo
Mohamed-Ghouse Z, Desha C, Perez-Mora L 2019 Chapter 23: Digital Earth in Australia, in Guo H et al. Manual of Digital Earth, International Society of Digital Earth (London: Springer Nature)
Creating digital earth node (DEN) rooms for immersive collaborative experiences
  • C Desha
  • Crawford K Perez-Mora
Desha C, Crawford K and Perez-Mora L 2018 Creating digital earth node (DEN) rooms for immersive collaborative experiences. In: ISDE11. Chouaib Douakkali University, Morocco, 17-19 April 2018