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Methodologies to Represent and Promote the Geoheritage Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Multimedia Technologies, and Augmented Reality

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Promoting geoheritage using the Internet materializes mainly through the use of maps, posters, informational murals, or websites. This information is usually detailed and visually appealing. However, in most cases, there is little interactivity and a limited or complete lack of contextualization within the geographical space. The main objective of this work was to integrate information collected with unmanned aerial vehicles, georeferenced information processed in geographical information systems, photogrammetry techniques, and multimedia technologies to promote a better computer visualization of geoheritage. A working website was built based on panoramic photography, three-dimensional representation of the terrain, and multimedia information, in order to provide a pleasant way of promoting and interacting with field geology by using the Internet. The navigation through the information is based on 360° spherical panoramic images that are fully oriented and georeferenced. Their movement can be perfectly synchronized with the viewing of the landscape by using motion sensors found on portable devices (tablets or smartphones) such as GPS, accelerometers, gyroscopes, or compasses. These images can include the access to multimedia elements such as websites, videos, images, sounds, interpretation models, text, or interactive 3D terrain models, working as an excellent support base for the provision of an augmented reality experience. If used in the field, this technical implementation can act as an interactive guide for the interpretation of the landscape. This type of content can be accessed online from locations with a network signal or can be obtained in advance for offline use.

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The authors acknowledge the Federal University of Pernambuco for enabling learning with the Graduate Program in Geosciences. Also, the authors acknowledge the University of Minho, for all technical and scientific support. We would also like to thank the comments from three external reviewers that were very constructive and helped to definitively improve the paper.


This work received financial support from Capes - Higher Education Personnel Improvement Coordination for the granted in Brazil between 2013 and 2014 and abroad in 2015.

This work was co-funded by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund, based on COMPETE 2020 (Programa Operacional da Competitividade e Internacionalização), project ICT (UID/GEO/04683/2013) with reference POCI-01-0145-FEDER-007690 and national funds provided by Foundation of Science and Technology (FCT).

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Correspondence to Ivaneide Santos.

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Santos, I., Henriques, R., Mariano, G. et al. Methodologies to Represent and Promote the Geoheritage Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Multimedia Technologies, and Augmented Reality. Geoheritage 10, 143–155 (2018).

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