gms | German Medical Science

4th InVeST – International Veterinary Simulation in Teaching Conference

14.09. - 16.09.2015, Hannover

Development of 4D virtual farms

Meeting Abstract

InVeST 2015: International Veterinary Simulation in Teaching Conference. Hannover, 14.-16.09.2015. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2015. Doc15invest27

doi: 10.3205/15invest27, urn:nbn:de:0183-15invest272

Published: September 10, 2015

© 2015 Barber et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. See license information at



Compared to veterinary graduates of the 20th century, veterinary students in Australasia are now more likely to come from a non-rural background and to work a considerable distance from where they have studied for at least some of their career. While students are required to spend time working on different livestock farms during their degree, it is not possible to spend time on all enterprise types and environmental conditions. These factors increase the need for best-practice education to improve student understanding of the wide variety of agricultural enterprises.

We have developed high-resolution, panoramic, four-dimensional (360 degree through time) virtual farms across Australasia, using funding from the Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT) to allow students to view many different farm enterprises (Figure 1 [Fig. 1]). At each collaborating veterinary school, staff members identified appropriate properties for selection, and images were collected over multiple sites on the farm. The location of each image is recorded using GPS, allowing images to be taken from the same location over multiple visits, giving the fourth dimension (time).

Various files including video, photos, pop-up windows, documents and links to web sites can be embedded within the framework of the property view, allowing the integration of learning and assessment resources within the tool. Development of the virtual farms gives students the next best experience to visiting each property. It allows them to view what occurs on a property over the year, with real examples of what happens in the convenience of the classroom or at home at a speed that suits them.