Welcome to Explorable Images
Gigapixel imaging is an emerging class of big image, big data visualization technology that has great potential for science communication and learning. The University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out-of-School Environments, Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute and Carnegie Museum of Natural History have partnered to build an open access cyberlearning platform that enables creation, exploration, mediation and conversation around ultra high-resolution gigapixel imagery and data representations. With NSF support, we are designing, developing and producing a set of demonstration projects to study innovative forms of participatory science learning and engagement through explorable images.
Explorable images enable observation and science communication to occur directly in the visual evidence creating a shared observational space for dialogue between experts and the public. This demonstration project focuses on the design of a visual learning environment to scaffold disciplinary observation, conversation and interest in an ancient petroglyph site.
Taxonomic identification of aquatic macroinvertebrates is hard. To support watershed volunteers, educators and learners in developing observation and classification skills, we are developing a synoptic teaching collection of freshwater steam insects that enables deep looking across orders and within families using richly annotated explorable images.
Visual evidence creates a shared boundary object. This public engagement effort looks at how explorable imagescapes, geographically co-located with other forms of scientific data, can be used to support productive dialogue, knowledge-sharing and collective envisioning activities to assess the impacts of regional energy development activities.