AR Sandbox

The Augmented Reality (AR) Sandbox is a very interactive visualisation tool that shows how topography affects water moving through a catchment.  We are always looking for opportunities to use the AR Sandbox to talk about hydrology and catchment processes, and we urge any schools, universities or events to get in touch. 

Participants can shape real sand to create their own catchments which are then ‘augmented’ in real time by a projector which shows a coloured elevation map and contour lines.

By holding a hand above the sand, participants can ‘make it rain’ and then watch how the virtual water flows through the catchment in real time and explore how changes in land use affect flooding.


Our first prototype was developed with students from the Griffith University as part of their civil engineering degree, and was based on the specifications shared by the University of California, Davis.

See us on Youtube:

The film on the right was developed by our friends at the JBA Trust and shows two contrasting rivers catchments and their different responses to rainfall.   It shows a managed catchment with straight river channels, extensive upland drainage and housing built in the floodplain vs. an estate protected by engineered flood defences, more natural catchment with a meandering river channel.