Mitlenatch Island

The Mitlenatch Island Visualization research project explores the use of realistic visualizations as tools for climate change adaptation planning, environmental management, and other activities related to protecting ecological, social, and cultural values in protected areas. The project develops an interactive visualization of Mitlenatch Island, a island park located near Campbell River, British Columbia, and it tests the tool through workshops with stakeholders and community members. Below is a demonstration video of the visualization.


The project was conducted in two phases: 

  • Phase 1 was exploratory, and it developed a visualization tool that contained a number of different features and functions, such as park management maps, videos, sea level rise scenarios, different satellite images, and 3D vegetation models. The purpose of developing this visualization was to engage stakeholders with the different possibilities for developing such park management planning tools using video game software.
  • Phase 2 of the project developed a visualization tool that specifically focused on the management of invasive species (in response to the stakeholder feedback from the first phase). Once again, stakeholders engaged with the tool, and they provided thoughts and ideas on its advantages, disadvantages, areas for improvement and further development, and other possible applications of the tool. More information on the different phases of the project and the research outcomes can be found by using the buttons below to download a report on Phase 1 and a graduate thesis on Phase 2.

Download Report on Phase 1    Download Thesis on Phase 2


Try the Visualization Tool
Version 1

The first version of the tool was exploratory in that it included a number of different features and functions to allow stakeholders to explore the potential of these tools (see the

Download User Guide Download PC Version Download Mac Version


Version 2

The second version of the tool was developed based on the stakeholder engagement with and feedback on the first version, and it specifically focused on the management of invasive plant species (see

Download MIVis V2


Online Version

To try the online version, click the image below, and wait for the visualization to load. Then, click the visualization window below to begin using the key commands. The visualization is best viewed using Google Chrome. Key commands for navigating and using the features of the visualization are as follows:

  • Arrow and WSAD keys - move forward and backward, and turn left and right
  • Move mouse - look around
  • Left & right mouse buttons, and QE keys - raise and lower camera
  • M - switch to map view
  • T - change tide (low, high, and RCP4.5 & RCP8.5 sea level rise scenarios)
  • U - show uncertainty for sea level rise projections (high range)
  • V - change terrain maps
  • B - switch to blackberry burning terrain maps
  • Enter - open/close instructions
  • R - restart visualization


The Sidney Spit Visualization Project

This project builds upon previous visualization work, such as the Sidney Spit Visualization project. Sidney Spit is park located on the northern portion of Sidney Island (near Sidney, British Columbia) and is part of the Gulf Island National Park Reserve. The demonstration video shows a user walk through the virtual environment.

The Sidney Spit Interactive Visualization can be downloaded through the links below. There are four versions of the visualization: (1) a high resolution version for Windows, (2) low resolution version for Windows, (3) a high resolution version for Mac, and (4) low resolution version for Mac. If the high resolution versions do not run well on your computer (i.e., slow and lags too much), try downloading and running a low resolution version. The buttons download zipped packages (e.g.,, Unzip the package and open up the application within the folder to begin exploring the Sidney Spit Interactive Visualization!

High-Res PC Version Low-Res PC Version
High-Res Mac Version Low-Res Mac Version

Project Collaborators


BC Parks

The project received funding from the BC Parks Living Lab for Climate Change and Conservation program.