GIality n. [jee-al-i-tee]
- the convergence of geospatial data with augmented reality technology
- the integration of real-world sensors for attitude, orientation, location and imagery with spatial data and services for visualisation tools for a mobile workforce and public
We live in a world that is increasingly mobile in every aspect of our lives; workforce; entertainment; family connections; leisure… and this brings new opportunities in our interaction and engagement with the surroundings.
This revolution is brought about by a range of factors – elementary in these are the always-on data-rich environment that we live in, the availability of high-quality and robust mobile hardware and the sensors inherent in those devices including cameras, accurate geospatial location and high-performance 3D graphics engines (designed for gaming but with business potential).
At the convergence of this triumvirate of mobile, 3D visualisation and geo position is a new sector where augmented reality moves from a technology in search of a business application to a functional and innovative set of applications. These applications we call GIality – the integration of geospatial information with augmented reality.
But what do GIality applications look like in the real world? There are different levels of integration depending on the sensors and capabilities from heads-up compass apps to consumer functions such as the Nokia City Lens bringing in web-service data on demand. At the highest level GIality solutions really allow the creation of immersive augmented reality by incorporating terrain models, textured overlays, 3D models, animation and lighting effects – all relevant to the current location and on affordable consumer tablets.
Linknode’s development in this arena is in planning visualisation for renewables and especially wind. Landscape and visual impact assessment (L/VIA) is a subset of the greater environmental study that is essential for consent and planning for larger developments and assists in all sizes of project in the planning process. Current communication methods are limited in public access, scope, inclusivity, comprehension and (in some cases) accuracy. Printed media means that there is limited flexibility in positioning of viewpoints and the inclusion of variants such as alternative wind direction and in the cumulative impact of other nearby projects. GIality helps by providing companion apps that can engage with developers, landscape custodians and the public in the provision of relevant, live and dynamic information – readily understood and at relatively low cost.