Last week (November 2015), Linknode hosted a Visualisation Interest Group at our offices in Glasgow. This is the third (annual) time that we have opened our doors to planners, developers, landscape professionals and practitioners. The aim was to create a forum for discussion with like-minded people and over 20 guests plus four speakers agreed. The afternoon was a balance that included new technical insight, communication & community engagement and research & guidance updates.
After an invitation to a demonstration of the capabilities of the new iPad Pro for in-field and business use (screen size, performance, apps). Crispin from Linknode set the scene with examples of how progress in renewables capacity and technical innovation are mirrored in what we see in our clients’ use of innovative visualisation solution VentusAR.
Susie Duncan, Principal Digital Designer, from LUC started the community session with a talk that began with a discussion as to whether “The Visualisation Challenge” really was “The Usual Carnage”. Susie led us through the extensive options and capabilities that are available to practitioners as well as the challenges that face professionals in dissemination of visual information. And corresponding challenges in community consumption of what is complex spatial information.
Victoria McCusker, Principal Consultant, representing Facilitating Change followed-up with a complementary presentation focussing on experiences and practicality of working with communities. Tori described the Scottish Planning Equals Effective Engagement & Delivery (SP=EED) from Planning Aid for Scotland (PAS) and demonstrated with real-world examples that the visual and environmental impact remain the most important issues in comments received on proposals.
A short refreshment break (excellent cakes from Piece) gave a chance for discussion and to review some of the new Virtual Reality headsets. At the consumer level we had several Google Cardboard samples and Heriot-Watt demonstrated their tools using visualisation for education and training at height with the Oculus Rift headset.
Dr David Simmons, lecturer and research lead, from the University of Glasgow School of Psychology kicked-off the final session. David outlined some of the human factors affecting our visual perception and understanding. David related these to presented research into the differences between paper, digital and animated views of the same scene – in a controlled version of a viewpoint or community engagement exercise.
Quality animation is a key differentiator in digital visualisation and (as always) more research into the distinction between object animation in a view (ie a turbine) versus background animation (ie a live video feed) would be useful.
Finally, Marc van Grieken of MGLVA reported on new work undertaken by the Landscape Institute Technical Committee on “proportionality”. Marc is a respected speaker who clearly and articulately defined the problem of chasing ever-increasing accuracy for all situations. This leads to limitations (expense, time) in GLVIA. The broad approach of proportionality intends to approve the use of different levels of assessment at different stages – levels of information appropriate to the decision making point or process at that time.
We cannot share Marcs slides as the Landscape Institute is still to go through a review process – but expect to see news early in 2016 that we will of course share when it becomes public.
Many thanks to all the speakers for their time and effort – and to the attendees, some of whom travelled a long way to be part of the event. Copies of the presentations are below and for more information on any of the discussions, please contact any of the team at Linknode directly.