Let’s face it: reality is boring. That’s why drugs are a thing. But lately technology has made it possible to alter reality without any nasty side effects or arrests. And now even playing in a sandbox is cool thanks to the UC Davis W.M. Keck Center for Active Visualization in the Earth Sciences. Using a Kinect 3D camera, they created a real-time colored topographic map over the surface of the sand. As you create mountains and valleys, the software picks up on it and even lets you add virtual water to create rivers and lakes. There’s probably practical applications for it like predicting dam overflows, but obviously the coolest use of this technology is to recreate fantasy maps from LOTR and Game of Thrones.
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