[ASC-media] New Edge

Sam.Lucia at ga.gov.au Sam.Lucia at ga.gov.au
Wed Nov 26 12:52:42 EST 2003


Australian Government
Geoscience Australia
Media Release
26 Nov 03

New EDGE for Australian exploration
Australia's exploration industry could benefit with the opening today of a
new three-dimensional visualisation theatre, known as the EDGE, by Ian
Macfarlane, Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources. 

"The EDGE will enable scientists from Geoscience Australia to explore the
land in 3D, providing a competitive edge in attracting international
investment in exploration," Mr Macfarlane said. 

"In the past, we typically used maps to interpret geological data collected
from around Australia. With the Enhanced Discovery of Geosciences 3D Theatre,
the EDGE, we can now look at the Earth as it really exists, in three
dimensions, so that we can better understand it," Minister Macfarlane added.

Geoscience Australia is the first government geoscience organisation to use
this technology. At $35 000, the new facility was built using in-house
expertise at a fraction of the cost of similar systems used by exploration
companies.

"Australia is a huge continent with almost eight million square kilometres to
explore," said Dr Neil Williams, Chief Executive Officer of Geoscience
Australia. "Much of our future resources are hidden or buried across that
vast region. This technology will help us see below the surface and identify
areas that have potential for mineral exploration." 

"It could provide more accurate pre-competitive information to government and
industry about the sites we identify for potential exploration," he said.

The EDGE provides a group viewing experience for scientists and
non-scientists. The advantage is that scientists can use spatial data to
create moving 3D models which show the geological composition of the earth.  

"Rather than trying to picture in your mind what lies below the surface, the
EDGE gives you an instant picture of what the earth really looks like.  Once
we've interpreted what the images mean we can then use them as a tool to
communicate with a broad audience ranging from industry professionals to
non-scientists," said Russell Hay, one of the EDGE creators at Geoscience
Australia.

"The EDGE gives the operator the ability to don a pair of 3D glasses, rotate
a slice of earth and add or remove layers of data," added Mr Hay. "By
interacting with the 3D image for the first time, our scientists realised
instantly that a theory of geological interpretation they had previously
thought true, just couldn't be possible."

The EDGE will be used for data interpretation in mineral and petroleum
exploration, earthquake monitoring, salinity mapping and as an education and
communication tool.

In the future, Geoscience Australia will further develop the EDGE by
incorporating the capacity for virtual manipulation of the 3D images and
teleconferencing so that people across the country can simultaneously
interact with the same model.

For more information, to arrange an interview and/or for images, please
contact, Geoscience Australia on 1800 882 035 

Samantha Lucia 

Science Communicator
Geoscience Australia
Ph: 61 2 6249 9438
Fax: 61 2 6249 9990
Email: sam.lucia at ga.gov.au
Website: www.ga.gov.au


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