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360topia’s Vision: Mitigating Fuego Volcano Risks Through 3D Innovation

Manuel Gómez-Navarro presenting the 3D online platform, and a 3D recreation of Fuego Volcano.

Manuel Gómez-Navarro, proprietor of the virtual tours development studio 360topia and an adjunct instructor of Spanish in the BSU World Language Department, recently participated in the COV12 Cities on Volcanoes conference held in La Antigua, Guatemala, on February 11-17. He was invited due to his role as the chief designer and content manager of a multidisciplinary project centered around the development of a 3D online platform dedicated to mitigating risks associated with the Fuego Volcano (Guatemala). The project involves collaboration with Prof. Jeffrey Johnson (BSU Geosciences Department, leading the project), Jerry Mock (former BSU master’s student from the Geosciences Department), Armando Pineda (volcanic consultant from Guatemala), and Diego Rizzo (professional photographer). This platform, currently in progress, is expected to be fully operational by August 2024, and will support Kaqchikel, Spanish, and English languages. You can check a draft by clicking here.

The conference, a groundbreaking event for Guatemala, received significant support from Boise State University, with Prof. Jeffrey Johnson playing a key organizing role alongside local agencies. Notably, this conference marked the first time it was conducted in both English and Spanish and also marked Guatemala’s debut as host for such an event.

In addition to academic discussions, the conference offered participants various field trips to nearby volcanoes and cultural activities to immerse themselves in Guatemalan heritage. For Manuel Gómez-Navarro, this experience promises to enrich his teaching, ongoing projects, and future collaborations, particularly in relation to indigenous communities, history, culture, and languages.

You can listen to an interview featuring Johnson and Gómez-Navarro hosted by Idaho Matters on Boise State Public Radio at this link.

From left to right: Jeff Johnson, Manuel Gómez-Navarro, Armando Pineda, and Jerry Mock. The Fuego Volcano can be seen in the background.