The purpose of this research is the continued improvement of the usability and teaching effectiveness of SimuSurvey over previous efforts. By using the XNA gaming platform, we developed a new virtual surveying instrument named SimuSurvey X with improved visual effects and user interface.
SimuSurvey X provides a virtual environment for survey training with various surveying instruments and accessories. The virtual instruments include leveling, theodolite and total station; the virtual accessories include level rulers and poles. SimuSurvey X provides five scenarios for surveying missions: leveling surveying, horizontal angle surveying, vertical angle surveying, traverse closed surveying and free mode surveying.
During the development, we focused not only on technical issues, but also considered creativity and aesthetics. We made use of user-centered design (UCD) methods in the implementation phase to help find problems regarding the user interface as early as possible. The resulting virtual training tools had to fully utilize the features and advantages of the gaming platform.
After the software implementation, we also prepared SimuSurvey X teaching material to accompanying the real instrument practices in surveying courses in vocational schools and universities. During the promotion activities, we conducted some user tests to collect user feedback, then analyzed the results to identify its usability and teaching effectiveness.