Exercise 4: Create a Virtual Field Trip using Photo spheres#

Task 4


After completing Exercise 1, which involved interpreting the major geological structures of one of the Digital Outcrop Models from the Svalbox database, and Exercise 2, which involved exploring the diverse digital resources available in Svalbard, it’s time to integrate everything and create a Virtual Field Trip. To do so, utilize the Svalbox database and external resources such as geological and paleogeographical maps, sedimentary profiles, seismic data, or previous studies to prepare an engaging and captivating geological narrative.

Your focus should be on addressing authentic and applied geological problems, creating a storyline that both informs and captivates your audience.


  • Create a Virtual Field Trip and embed a minimum of: 1 geological map, 2 photo spheres, and 1 digital outcrop model (ideally with annotations).

  • Export your Virtual Field Trip and share it with your colleagues.

  • 30 minutes presentation of the VFT using ArcGIS Story Maps.


TBD each year.

Main learning objectives

By doing this exercise, you are expected to learn:

  1. Search and download Photo spheres and Digital Outcrop Models from the Svalbox database

  2. Search within the available data sets and resources presented in AG222 Compendium - Data mining

  3. Create a Virtual Field Trip using ArcGIS Story Maps

  4. Embed Photo spheres and Digital Outcrop Models to your VFT

Background information#

A virtual field trip is a type of field excursion that doesn’t require traveling to the actual site. It involves integrating various tools and georeferenced data sets to create a coherent storyline. Virtual field trips are seasonally independent, safe, and repeatable. They also prepare students and professionals adequately for efficient fieldwork and can be used for post-fieldwork analyses.

Designing a virtual field trip requires several important skills, including teamwork, creativity, data mining, software proficiency, and geology.

There are many online platforms available to create Virtual Field Trips (VFTs). As discussed in the previous chapter, ArcGIS Story Maps is an excellent resource for creating VFTs, as demonstrated by the VFT called Discover the fossilized world of Festningen, A short 300 million year walk along an Arctic beach.

However, there are other platforms to create VFTs, which can include virtual reality, with examples like the ones in VR Svalbard by using Pano2VR or Learning Arctic Biology.


The Svalbox CookBook, AG222 Compendium - Data mining, and AG222 Compendium - GIS provides detailed guidelines on how to accomplish learning objectives 1 and 2. You can refer to the ArcGIS Story Maps Tutorial for a step-by-step explanation on how to create a Virtual Field Trip, by fulfilling objectives 3 and 4.

Too much information? Don’t worry, follow the tasks at your own pace. Moreover, we will, at regular intervals, pause and get a student to present (by sharing their screen and clicking the right buttons) how the task was achieved and what the results are to that point.