Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Geology and Geography

Committee Chair

Trevor M Harris


The utilization of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and other geospatial technologies in historical inquiry and the humanities has led to a number of projects that are exploring digital representations of past landscapes and places as platforms for synthesizing and representing historical and geographic information. Recent advancements in geovisualization, immersive environments, and virtual reality offer the opportunity to generate digital representations of cultural and physical landscapes, and embed those virtual landscapes with information and knowledge from multiple GIS sources. The development of these technologies and their application to historical research has opened up new opportunities to synthesize historical records from disparate sources, represent these sources spatially in digital form, and to embed the qualitative data into those spatial representations that is often crucial to historical interpretation.;This dissertation explores the design and development of a serious game-based virtual engine, the Spatial Experience Engine (SEE), that provides an immersive and interactive platform for an experiential approach to exploring and understanding place. Through a case study focused on the late nineteenth-century urban landscape of Morgantown, West Virginia, the implementation of the SEE discussed in this dissertation demonstrates a compelling platform for building and exploring complex, virtual landscapes, enhanced with spatialized information and multimedia. The SEE not only provides an alternative approach for scholars exploring the spatial turn in history and a humanistic, experiential analysis of historical places, but its flexibility and extensibility also offer the potential for future implementations to explore a wide range of research questions related to the representation of geographic information within an immersive and interactive virtual landscape.