Providing students with a new perspective on our communities.
Recognized by U.S. News & World Report as the country’s most innovative university for the last six consecutive years, Arizona State University (ASU) serves approximately 120,000 students making it not only a great school but also one of the largest colleges in the United States.
The ASU Herberger Institute of Design is always looking for new tools to help their students excel in the classroom, as well as give them a leg up when they set out to start their careers. Dr. Nikolas Smilovsky teaches Advanced GIS Applications for Environmental Design at ASU – his program utilizes a plethora of analysis tools for acquiring, displaying, editing, analyzing and modeling spatial information. His classes spend a considerable amount of time researching different topics for the Rio Reimagined Project, an initiative spearheaded by the late Senator John McCain and Dr. Michael Crow, ASU’s President. The research project focuses on transforming the desolate riverbed of the Rio Salado into a thriving urban asset. This project requires a lot of aerial analysis to fully understand the condition of the river, how it interacts with the community, and what improvements can be made to make it more sustainable and impactful for the surrounding communities.
When Dr. Smilovsky was first introduced to an immersive aerial experience from AerialSphere, he knew he needed to introduce it to his students so they could use it as an analysis tool to assess pre-planning and development for his GIS classes. When the class began working on their Rio Reimagined project, they were able to utilize different spheres along the Rio Salado to get a birds-eye view of whatever they were studying and analyzing. Dr Smilovsky was amazed how intuitive it was for the students to use and how well they leveraged and utilized the engaging technology into their projects. It was such a powerful tool that Dr. Smilovsky introduced it to his other planning, design, and GIS classes at ASU. With AerialSphere’s 360-degree panoramas, students were able to fully understand the area, quantify trees and turf areas, as well as perform flood risk and environmental analysis.
“XP360 from AerialSphere is an invaluable tool for analyzing, planning and designing as it gives unique perspectives not available from other tools. Not only was it great in our classroom, it will make a major impact in both the private and public sectors.”
– Dr. Nikolas Smilovsky, GIS Faculty, ASU