An enterprise simulation platform for education:
Building a world game for pre-college students with Microsoft ESP
Exhibit 2: Microsoft ESP functions and capabilities
On this page:
Water classification data
Digital elevation modeling
Land classification data
Topographic classification data
Three-dimensional graphics and dynamic animations
Real-time weather data
Dynamic depiction of seasonal patterns
Microsoft ESP uses data layers to construct the dynamic simulation environment. These layers allow, for example, a user aboard a virtual aircraft over Paris in midwinter to see accurate weather patterns, geographic features, surrounding buildings, and transportation infrastructures. Each kind of data layer can play a role in a game or simulation scenario.
The water classifications layer (Figure 2-1) might be used in a global model of the Earth‘s ocean temperatures, allowing a game player to look at the impact of 300 years of changing ice at the North Pole on the patterns of currents and fish populations that are today affecting countries like China and Korea that make extensive use of the sea for their food supply. Students or teams working on ocean-thermal conversion or wave generation electrical plants might recruit this data layer among others to build a working model of their idea.
Figure 2-1. Water classification dataReturn to top
Another layer accurately models landforms. Digital elevation models of the surface of the Earth (Figure 2-2) facilitate understanding of geographic forces. This data would be essential for planning emergency response systems for landslides, floods, and earthquakes; for practical, forward-thinking projects such as site planning for wind farms or telecommunications towers; or for other environmental planning activities.
Figure 2-2. Digital elevation modelingReturn to top
Land classification data (Figure 2-3) can be used to model local vegetation, housing, agriculture, and other aspects of land use. These data layers are important for planning biofuel solutions and improving land use policies to prevent soil erosion and nutrient depletion. Linking these layers to the meteorological data layers (Figure 2-6) gives insight into how local land uses change local weather patterns.
Figure 2-3. Land classification dataReturn to top
Topographic classifications (Figure 2-4) are used to generate cultural features of earth. These data layers might allow a student to explore the relationship between population and local resource utilization to determine, for example, whether large population centers always result in environmental degradation and what the underlying dynamics might be.
Figure 2-4. Topographic classification dataReturn to top
Vector data on roads, rails, and other elements of the built landscape are used to generate dynamic animations (Figure 2-5). These layers may help students examine problems in the built world, such as a traffic jam, and model possible solutions. Realistic graphics create an immersive experience and toolkits allow others to add to the virtual earth, creating an impressive sense of realism.
Figure 2-5. Three-dimensional graphics and dynamic animationsReturn to top
The Earth system includes dynamic weather patterns. Meteorological layers are updated with data from the Earth‘s satellite systems, so that weather (Figure 2-6) and seasonal data (Figure 2-7) at any point on Earth are accurate within 10 minutes. With each update, the layers interact to create complex feedback systems for illustrating and modeling Earth science concepts.
Figure 2-6. Real-time weather dataReturn to top
Figure 2-7. Dynamic depiction of seasonal patternsReturn to top