Our GIS is a Game Engine: Bringing Unity to Spatial Simulation of Rockfalls

We employ a game engine – Unity – to create a rockfall simulation that integrates high resolution slope data from LiDAR scanning and photogrammetry, simulates hundreds of rocks moving on a slope, and provides outputs relevant to geological engineering decision support. This approach, in contrast to existing rockfall simulation tools that are specific to limited slope types, is general, extensible, and robust. The use of a game engine as a simulator for surface geological processes represents a novel approach to geocomputation
that leverages the physics simulation capability of games and the powerful terrain representation and visualization capabilities of 3D game engines.