VR Glaciers and Glaciated Landscapes Teaching Resource: Summer Update

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VR Glaciers and Glaciated Landscapes Teaching Resource: Summer Update

Derek McDougall

Hi everyone,


*Apologies for cross-posting *


This is the Summer 2019 update on our free to use, virtual reality teaching resource: VR GLACIERS AND GLACIATED LANDSCAPES (https://vrglaciers.wp.worc.ac.uk).


What is VR Glaciers and Glaciated Landscapes?

It is a free and easy-to-use resource that provides on-demand, ground-level virtual fieldwork to glaciers and glaciated landscapes (rather like Google Street View). Its primary role is in supporting class- and lab-based teaching of glaciers and glaciation in schools, colleges and universities. It is not a replacement for real fieldwork, for which there is no substitute.


Why use it?

You can use virtual fieldwork to create worksheets for use in class or as assessment items. The ground-level view is particularly helpful in developing geomorphological interpretation and mapping skills (geolocation data are supplied for use with Google Earth, ArcMap etc.). If you are looking to create interactive exercises for students with the minimum of fuss, this resource may be worth a look.


What do you need to use it?

An internet-connected device, such as a phone, tablet or computer. For those wanting to use head-mounted displays, it will work with Google Cardboard, but it does not currently support the Oculus Quest (this will be fixed as soon as I can find the time!).


What’s new?

  • New virtual field trip to Sanetsch Pass (Valais, Switzerland).
  • Additional sites added to the west of the Moiry Glacier (Valais, Switzerland), allowing excellent views of Late Holocene moraines. We also have drone footage of the moraines, but this has yet to be processed and added to the site.
  • New virtual field trip added to the Arolla valley. This uses imagery acquired in 2006, which provides a good comparison with the main virtual field trip imagery (from 2017 and 2018).


Future developments

  • I will produce some more worksheets for school and university use, including one with a more glaciological emphasis.
  • I’m keen to start producing some 360° video content for those sites that would benefit from it.


Interested in collaborating?

If you would like to collaborate, please do get in touch. Possible examples of collaboration include: developing virtual fieldwork resources to accompany research projects (good for outreach); science communication; implementing and evaluating virtual fieldwork in the curriculum. The list is not exhaustive.



Financial support is gratefully acknowledged from the University of Worcester, the Quaternary Research Association and the British Society for Geomorphology.


Best wishes,



Dr Des McDougall,

Principal Lecturer in Physical Geography,

Department of Geography, Archaeology and the Environment,

School of Science and the Environment,

University of Worcester,

Henwick Grove,


UK – WR2 6AJ


T: +44 (0)1905 855440

E: [hidden email]



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