Mersey Estuary

Development of a VR Model of the Upper Mersey Estuary

The Mersey Gateway Environmental Trust is a unique, innovative organisation providing environmental monitoring and management across 1600 ha of land in the North West of England. It aspires to be a Centre of Excellence for environmental study through the establishment of a Living Laboratory, making full use of the data that has been and is collected in various research projects.

The aim of this project was to create a proof of concept Virtual Reality application of the Upper Mersey Estuary.  Mersey Gateway owned large amounts of data such as digital terrain models, geographical information system mapping layers, drone data and satellite imagery.  However, all were separate entities requiring software to visualise them. A need was identified for a visual solution that brings these data sets in one application.  

Using some of this data, Thinklab provided Mersey Gateway with a Virtual Reality model with an interactive map interface, that allows users to visit the entire estuary ‘in one flight’, making it an excellent visualisation and communication tool. Areas that otherwise cannot be accessed, can now be viewed, with users having a 360 degree experience that was not possible before.

Paul Oldfield, Biodiversity Officer at Mersey Gateway (2018) commented:

“Working with the Thinklab has been a great experience and we are looking forward to be using the VR application at stakeholder and community events.  The team at Thinklab was very accommodating throughout the entire development process, which enables us to make full use of our data and provides us with considerable benefits for communication and innovative thinking.”

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