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UC Davis at the White House Water Summit

UC Davis at the White House Water Summit on March 22, 2016

UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC) director Geoff Schladow along with UC Davis KeckCAVES director Louise Kellogg and researcher Oliver Kreylos (both with the UC Davis Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences) were invited to attend the White House Water Summit on Tuesday, March 22, 2016. They will be inside the White House presenting the Augmented Reality Sandbox that was developed as part of a larger National Science Foundation grant. See to learn more about the event or visit to livestream the event. We will be watching for our UC Davis colleagues tweeting using hashtag: #WHWaterSummit (

About the Augmented Reality Sandbox

UC Davis at the White House Water Summit

The UC Davis-developed Augmented Reality Sandbox (AR Sandbox) combines 3D and augmented reality technologies with traditional sand to offer a powerful open-source tool for playful learning and visualization to support better understanding of geoscience principles and environmental processes (

The Augmented Reality Sandbox exhibit leverages the open play and exploration of a sandbox and allows visitors to explore how water interacts with a landscape. We took a traditional sandbox one step further and married it with a Microsoft Kinect, which is a 3D camera, and a projector. This playful sandbox allows visitors to shape the sand’s landscape while the camera tracks changes in the sand’s elevation. The Kinect’s data is sent to the computer and an overhead projector displays a virtual topography with corresponding elevation color gradient. As the visitor plays by changing the topography, she may place her hand above the landscape and make it virtually rain on the surface. The water flows realistically over the landscape and forms lakes in the basins.


More than 100 AR Sandboxes have been installed to date following the original LakeViz exhibit prototype and development model, with sandbox exhibits on almost every continent.

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