Blue Atlas

A virtual field guide for amateur scuba divers and snorkelers interested in exploring the ocean, especially in unfamiliar locales

THE PROBLEM


In existing marine field guide books, each species is usually represented by a large amount of text and just one or two images. Without the limitations of paper pages, an interactive field guide is apt to convey new layers of information beyond that found in these books.

SOLUTION SUMMARY


Blue Atlas' main purpose is twofold—to engage and inform users of possible marine encounters, as well as to help them identify the various fish species they see. Its main features include area highlights, species information, and species identification.


In addition to the following images, I created an animated walkthrough to better communicate my app concept.

AREA HIGHLIGHTS

This feature let's the user know what they might expect to see based on their location. The image sizes correspond to the likelihood that a particular species will be seen.


SPECIES INFORMATION


Each species has a series of dedicated informational "pages" split into the categories of distinctive features, habitat & behavior, abundance & distribution, and media gallery.

Distinctive features are illustrated, and the user can interact with the app to learn about species behavior. A gradient map shows the distribution of each species, and a media gallery (potentially crowdsourced) gives the user a better idea of what they are looking out for.


SPECIES IDENTIFICATION


Blue Atlas can also be used to identify species after sightings in the water.

An in-app tutorial introduces the user to marking and anatomy terms commonly used for identification purposes.

Users can then select specific characteristics and identifiers as filters in order to identify the species in question.

The photograph of the whale shark used in my demo was taken from Animal Backgrounds and the photograph of the Longsnout Butterflyfish is from Florent's Reef Guide.

WALKTHROUGH

Using After Effects, I created this walkthrough video to illustrate some of the interactions I had in mind for the app.

PROCESS WORK


This project grew out of my fascination with our oceans. My initial goal was simply to present the ocean as a beautiful entity and provoke a visceral reaction, instilling in individuals a desire to take part in its protection. To make my objective a manageable one, however, I eventually decided my project would have to be more targeted.