How to use the Virtual Field Trip

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Exploring the virtual field trip


Double click on the round VFT icon in the VFT folder and then click on one of the locations in bold type. This will fly you down to ground level. Once it has settled into a real image, select the large 'Explore' button. Depending on the speed of your computer, small blue VR symbols, red movie symbols and yellow image symbols will appear.

You are now ready to explore. You will need your mouse to do this. Place the cursor over the picture and click and drag holding down the left hand mouse button. You will find the picture moves to the left and right, in fact you can move through a 360 degree spherical environment. By clicking on a blue VR symbol you can move into another sphere to explore. You will find you can explore a kilometre or more by moving around the sphericals using the VR symbol. You may click on the red and yellow symbols at any time to bring up a series of images and movies. If you click on a video, you can still listen while moving over the landscape. Also above the individual in the video panel is another blue symbol in the upper right corner. This gives you some background on the scientist speaking.

Two of the keys on your computer will zoom in and zoom out. It tends to be different according to the make of computer, but they will be adjacent keys. Try the shift and control key to begin with, or the arrow keys. Just experiment until you find which two keys they are for your computer. So now you have the ability to move around from VR icon to VR icon and to zoom in and out.

There are other buttons at the bottom of the viewing panel. The ‘Discover’ button is a linear overview of the background to the work in the Pilbara region. This is different at each location, each adding more information. Move through it by using the brown arrows at the bottom. Video panes are also available. At any point during your virtual field trip you can select the Access database button. This takes you to the searchable wiki web page. The VFT will still be running in the background. You can get back in just by selecting it on the bottom bar of your computer window.

All the videos and still images will eventually be available in larger size via the wiki - some are already there and you’ll find them under 'Image resources' and 'Video resources' in the left hand navigation pane. Note the videos also have transcripts, and a glossary so scientific terms can be understood.

Now you've explored one location, you can go to the next. Just click the ‘Visit another location’ button at the bottom of the VFT window and you will find you can now choose another of the three highlighted locations.

You may find it helpful to visit the Pilbara wiki, which is accessible through the 'Access database' button in the VFT - without opening the VFT. You can find it at http://pilbara.mq.edu.au.

The Virtual Field Trip tool website is at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/vft/.

Contents


Introduction

Context

Early Life

Evidence

Acknowledgements

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