Image of LA Times Collaboratory

Mapping and App-ing Los Angeles

Project Details

Project Year: 2018-2019

Project Type: Collaboratory


Coordinators

Geoffrey Cowan, University Professor and Annenberg Family Chair in Communication Leadership
Brianna Johnson, USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership & Policy
Max Lu, USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership & Policy
Jessica Ryan, USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership & Policy

Students

Pragati Gupta, Computer Science (Masters)
Mansi Ganatra, Data Informatics (Masters)
Nam Thai Hoang, Computer Science
Nathan Ramo, Religion; Archaeology
Naylee Nagda, Art, Technology and the Business of Innovation Naylee
Pooja Mahadev Soundalgekar, Computer Science (Masters)

Innovation Scholars

Pragati Gupta, Computer Science (Masters)
Mansi Ganatra, Data Informatics (Masters)
Nam Thai Hoang, Computer Science
Nathan Ramo, Religion; Archaeology
Naylee Nagda, Art, Technology and the Business of Innovation Naylee
Pooja Mahadev Soundalgekar, Computer Science (Masters)

Special Guests

Paige St. John, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist.
Albert Lee, Multimedia Producer, Los Angeles Times.

Description:

Terraforming Mars Collaboratory

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This collaboratory addressed the dual issues of a disjointed Los Angeles and a declining local press by working in partnership with the L.A. Times to create a mobile app for delivering immersive journalism. Students in this collaboratory explored ways to tell newsrooms stories using augmented reality, focusing, in particular, on large-scale environmental reports (e.g. stories about floods, hurricanes or fires) that when read, are often hard to visualize. In designing the mobile app, students experimented with, and prototyped, a method for using augmented reality as a way to move a user through a news event, or series of events, as if they were experiencing it in real-time.

 

Terraforming Mars Collaboratory

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Outcomes:

Students in the Mapping and App-ing Los Angeles collaboratory conceived, designed, and coded an augmented realty app that tells the story of the destructive California Camp Fire by utilizing data and media assets provided by the L.A. Times. The Camp Fire app takes viewers through several sequential scenes: a 3D AR map controlled by an interactive timeline, displaying the spread of the fire over seventeen days; a gamified scenario in which users must rush to choose pets and household items that are overlaid on their existing environment (via their phone’s camera) before it catches on fire; and a clickable 3D gallery of Camp Fire victims.