Monthly Archives: May 2013

VentusAR and All-Energy 2013

VentusAR Launches at All-Energy
That was the week that was! May 22-23 saw the launch of VentusAR, our unique tablet solution for mobile visual impact assessment at All-Energy in Aberdeen.

The All-Energy is what it says on the tin – an all encompassing show spread across the gigantic Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre plus overspill into two additional pavilions. Hosting everything and everyone from archaeological survey to large-scale offshore generation the focus was very much on the continual use and demand for onshore and offshore wind facilities and services.

Linknode were in exhibiting and, with the announcement on availability of VentusAR, we had a very busy time. The publicity and press that had proceeded the show meant that the team were constantly running demonstrations and answering queries. If you didn’t manage to catch us at a free or convenient moment, please contact us directly or via a request for information. We almost ran out of our VentusAR stress-turbines so if you have one hang on to the collectors item.


In addition to exhibiting, Linknode also presented in the On Shore “Visualisation” stream at the conference. Along with co-presenters from SNH and Sinclair Knight Merz we discussed changing practices and approaches to visualisation with particular interest from the audience in the new SNH Wind Farm Visualisation guidance whish was announced and opened for consultation.

It was with a little irony that in the afternoon of the second day our pavilion had to close due to high winds. With the structure swaying slightly unnervingly there was record-breaking stand breakdown and evacuation!

Finally, the winner of the very popular Deanston whisky was lucky Phil Horton from Dulas. Deanston is our local distillery and a rare breed indeed – Slange Var!

Thank you to everyone who visited and we will see you again next year…

Announcing HistoryLens

HistoryLens: Call for Partners

Today at the Museums and Heritage Show at Olympia in London Linknode announced a call for partners to be part of the HistoryLens development programme.

HistoryLens is GIality for local museums and heritage trusts – taking collections digitally back into the field with geospatial augmented reality.  Using our 3D visualisation capabilities and positioning expertise the HistoryLens app will provide a location-based context for interpretation and sharing.  The vision is to create a personal content-rich “Without Walls” experience in the landscape and streetscape rather than enclose exhibits and stories. This will be a first for 3D scanned objects, with augmented reality given an in-field context for interpretation.

HistoryLens As part of Linknode’s expansion to make use of our core technology in new sectors, HistoryLens is part funded by Scottish Enterprise.  We are currently looking for up-to four partners who are enthusiastic to embrace new digital experiences, have location-based stories to tell, are part of local groups, have experience in outreach development and ideally with some 3D scanned object archives (though we can help with this).

If you would like to get involved with the call to action, we will be reviewing expressions of interest by email until the end of May.  Please initially contact with brief details of your organisation, location and history and we will be in touch to build on ideas and ideally bring groups together in June.

AmbITion Scotland AR Roadshow

Augmented Reality Roadshow

On Thursday May 9, Linknode were invited to present at the AmbITion AR roadshow in the wonderful Macrobert Arts centre at Stirling University (our local).

In the morning we ran two introductory workshops to QR codes – triggers enabling analogue-to-digital context commonly used by smartphones and tablets. QR codes are widely used in advertising, retail and the museums and galleries as a way to go to a website, audio recording or video without typing a URL.  QR codes can be created with web addresses to provide additional supporting material for an individual location or object.  We debunked a few myths along the way, showed some examples of appropriate and poor use, scanned, created and introduced alternative technologies such as NFC.

In the afternoon, Antony Robbins from Museum of London the gave a highly entertaining and insightful talk into the digital journey and evolution the museum has undergone. The has been one of the success stories in AR with appropriate use of technology, content and creative idea all bundled up with style.  Linknode followed up with a (slightly) technical introduction to AR and all the slides and a recording of the session should be available on Get AmbITion website next week.


As promised, please see below for some of the replies to the online queries that we didn’t get time to respond to at the end in the Q&A:

Lee: What advancements have you seen in markerless AR without use of geospatial technology if this is something you know of?

CH: The rise of stable and commercial offerings and the investment in these companies by the major graphics chipset and mobile OS and hardware providers shows that this is a another significant sector of the market.
I am assuming by Markerless the reference is to image or object recognition which, though not a traditional fixed-format trigger still depend on prior knowledge and rendering.
What could be really interesting, but at the moment relies on custom hardware, is SLAM (simultaneous localisation and mapping). In SLAM a local 3D model of the environment is built dynamically from an active scanner and hence, with some processing, AR could be dynamically integrated without any prior knowledge.

Big Kev: What is the state of AR in immersive systems i.e CAVE, Domes, HMDs, Tracked Power Walls etc

CH: These systems provide immersive visual experiences either with physical attachments (HMD = Head Mounted Display) or without in terms of projected environments. Whilst a HMD could be termed AR, the others form more of an immersive virtual reality – aka Star Trek Holodeck… but without local physical stimulation. Much investment that then becomes norm comes from the gaming industry and in early 2013 Microsoft leaked a IllumiRoom proof-of-concept that may become part of consumer household gaming.

Damien: How do we find out more about his ‘History Lens’ project – nothing on their site (is it top secret?)

CH: HistoryLens will be launched for expressions of interest at the Museums and Heritage show in London next week. I hijacked my presentation at the last minute today to introduce the ‘call to action’ to the Scottish AmbITion audience. We will have an introduction on the blog next week.

Isabel: Can NFC work with Streetmaps on google?

CH: That’s a bit of an open-ended question Isabel and it would be good to hear what you are thinking here. You could tag a street (in the real world) and link through to Streetview but you would already be there! In the future this will be an increasingly valuable historical record if we can still retain access to the archive, as we can with historical maps now.

Happy Birthday to Linknode!

Happy Second Birthday

Linknode started business on 1 May 2011 and has been going from strength to strength with the support of our passionate team, our business partners and of course our valued clients.


Achievements in the first two years include growth in staff and turnover and the appointment of new Directors.  We have received SMART: Scotland awards for research and development on the GIality platform and we will soon see the first commercial realisation of some of those components (more later this month).

And what next?  Our plans for 2013 and beyond include new launches in the renewables and culture & heritage as well as overseas exports, keep reading Blogality for news.  If you see opportunities for collaboration and partnership in any of our 3D and geospatial mobile visualisation and want to be part of our next celebration please be in touch.