Author Archives: gbanfill

Tom Na Clach Windfarm Grid Connection Planning Application

VentusAR visualisations have been used on the Tom Na Clach windfarm Grid connection! The landscape and visual assessment for this project was completed by one of our clients who were keen to try out VentusAR on a planning application.

Tom Na Clach Grid connection is a project to connect the consented Tom Na Clach wind farm to the national grid. It is proposed to be a wood pole connection of approximately 15km of wood pole supporting a 132kV circuit. It has been submitted to Highland council and has planning application notice of 16/05709/S37.

Visualisations

Visualisations have been created to Highland Council Standards using VentusAR. Below are some examples of the visualisations submitted – for Viewpoint 1 there is an example of the baseline panorama, matching wireline and photomontage.

Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 16.52.36


Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 16.56.50
The full PDF for the viewpoint can be downloaded below.

pdficon_large16_05709_S37-ENVIRONMENTAL_APPRAISAL_-_FIGURE_7.6_-_VIEWPOINT_1__PLAN_AND_PHOTOMONTAGES_-1119608

To find out more about how VentusAR can help produce visualisations for planning applications, get in touch hello@ventusar.com

Visualisation for the Next Generation of Power Engineers

I watched a webcast and was struck by the amount of work and systems involved in creating a “real world” 3D model.

The webcast was an Autodesk webcast called Visualisation for the Next Generation of Power Engineers. I’ve embedded it below if you fancy a watch.

This webcast takes the watcher through the process of creating a visually rich 3D model of a Grid project. It incorporates loading data from lots of sources and creating a 3D visualisation to explain the design of the electrical system.

Autodesk highlight their value proposition as:

  • leveraging enterprise GIS and Design model information to enhance collaboration and project insight.
  • 3D models can be used as a means of communication for public outreach.

Building a model vs Using the Real World

My thought was that Autodesk spent a long time modelling the world. They loaded LiDAR data into Civils3D to provide a baseline, added new changes to the earthworks, add the new project before finally creating a visualisation. This all takes time, expertise and equipment to do. Could it be done quicker and cheaper any other way?

We use the real world as the basis of our visualisation solution. Our solutions allow us to place any 3D model at any location in the landscape. We have successfully added many different types of models ranging from 13m wood poles to 50m towers to new substations – all visualised in the real world – not a virtual world.

AllfiveTransmisison
Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 16.56.50For more information about how VentusAR can be used to visualise Grid projects for design and stakeholder engagement get in touch: hello@ventusar.com or 0141 374 2741

Conductor Line Sag in Grid Projects

One of the features we  added recently is drawing realistic looking Conductor lines between towers on our Grid projects.

Prior to VentusAR 5.4 we drew straight lines between the connector points on the tower models. This had the effect of fairly unrealistic looking conductor lines as even across the shortest distance the conductor lines sag slightly due to gravity.

This post shows some examples of the line sag development and adds some more detail on how the line sag is calculated.

Catenary Formula

The line sag formula we use when displaying the conductor lines on a transmission project is based on a generalisation of the catenary formula. To calculate the sag at a given point we use the following formula:

LineSag_Formula

Where:

  • a is half the distance between towers (in meters)
  • y is the drop at that point in the conductor (in meters)

Maths Example

Lets take a worked example, if the towers were 200m apart, then the variable a would be 100. We can calculate the value at three sample points:

  • at x = 0 the sag due is calculated as 0m – which would make sense – it is at the top of the tower
  • at x = 200 the sag is calculated as 0m – it also makes sense as it at the top of the other tower
  • at x= 100, the sag calculated is 10.033m – this is the bottom of the catenary curve

This is easiest shown with a graph. Below is a screenshot (with slight optical illusion):

LineSag_Graph

Visual Example

When drawing the line sag, we calculate thirty points along the wire and work out the sag between each of those points  – we then draw a series of straight lines between each point.  Our curve is actually a series straight lines between each of these points, but as you can see the visual impact is effective.

IMG_0172

IMG_0203

Line sag modelling has been added to all Grid projects that use conductor lines.

Limitations

This is only an approximation of how line sag works, I have asked an engineer how line sag is actually calculated and discovered it is far more complicated than I wanted to represent in a generic Visual Assessment tool like VentusAR.

This formula could cause conductor lines to be drawn underground – it is up to the person who set up the model to ensure that the span between towers is reasonable.  Custom modelling is, of course, available on any project where additional detail is required.

More Information

For more information about line sag and how we can help you visualise and assess your Grid projects, tower and conductor lines, give us a shout at hello@ventusar.com

New year, New model, New video: UrbanPlanAR is coming

Its a New Year, so we decided it was time to update our UrbanPlanAR video to show some of the latest things we have done.

This example shows a concept model shown in the camera feed. It makes it really quick and easy to communicate what the new building will look like. Once everything is loaded, it’s as quick and easy as pointing the iPad in the right direction and the new building shows in the camera feed at the right place.

upar_screen_2 There are plenty more exciting things to share with you over the coming months, including how visualisation works with BIM, video is changing everything and case studies of UrbanPlanAR in use.

If you would like to know more about the future of Urban Visualisation, drop us a line hello@urbanplanar.com, come meet us at Scotland BIM or find us on twitter @UrbanPlanAR #Viz4BIM

Happy New Year: Top five posts from 2016

Happy New Year from everyone at Linknode. We thought this would be a good time to review the top five most popular posts of 2016.

Videomontage

In June we created video montages for community engagement on Orkney with Hoolan Energy.

Community Engagement for a Hoolan Energy Wind Development in Orkney

Buildings

We launched the buildings domain to allow our users to quickly assess buildings in VentusAR.

Assessing and Visualising Buildings in VentusAR

Pokemon Go

July came round and Niantic launched Pokemon Go. That is an interesting one to watch as the guy behind Niantic Labs was also the guy behind Google Earth.

What Does Pokémon GO Mean for AR?

UrbanPlanAR call for partners

Closer to home, we started looking for partners for UrbanPlanAR.

Invitation to Participate in the Innovate UK Visualisation Project :: UrbanPlanAR

Scottish Government Planning Review

The Scottish Governmnet planning review was published.

Planning Review Scotland – Greater use of 3D

Whats Coming up in 2017

Lots of things are planned for 2017:

  • We have been producing visualisations for some big infrastructure projects in grid and buildings domains (be sure to check back as we will publish case studies when they are in the public domain)
  • UrbanPlanAR is due to launch in April 2017, we are working with our partners to refine its use and produce a business model
  • More innovation coming across our products: presentation quality output – inlcuding more lighting and shadow options, dynamic visualisations and enabling a greater reach.

If you would like to know more about our visualisation processes and how we can help you communicate your project to stakeholders and the public, drop us a line: hello@linknode.co.uk.

VentusAR welcomes Gillespies Landscape Architects

gillespies-site-sign-board-colour

We are delighted that Gillespies, a forward thinking, UK based Landscape Architect practice, have signed up to use VentusAR within their organisation.

After an evaluation of the tools on the market, Gillespies selected VentusAR as a suitable addition to their tools for landscape assessment and visualisation. This software will particularly help with the Grid and Building projects work they are currently undertaking.

onshore150-e1438175454732Transmisson150-e1438175441149

About VentusAR

VentusAR is the only mobile visualisation tool to provide real world visualisations from where you are. Take the iPad or Android tablet any where and it will show how the view will be affected by the building of a project. Use it to inform assessment, produce high quality visualisation and better engage the public. To find out more about how VentusAR can save you time and money on landscape assessment project contact hello@ventusar.com

Testing the Location Tracking in UrbanPlanAR

UrbanPlanAR shows a planned building development that has not yet been built. If a developer was going to put an office building in the view below, what would it look like? How visible would it be? Would that be acceptable or is the visual impact too great?

We use accurate localisation technology (built by the experts at Heriot Watt) to get a location and look direction for the iPad. Part of this approach uses computer vision techniques to identify what can be seen by the camera on the iPad and find a location from what can be seen.

UrbanPlanAR Testing

Out testing localisation in UrbanPlanAR at the Lyle Centre at Heriot Watt University

This is a new product we are going to launch early 2017. At the moment we are in the testing phases where we are trying the software in a variety of different locations and urban areas. If you would like to be involved in the development of UrbanPlanAR, then we are looking for partners. Read our Call for Data and Invitation to Participate (or just drop us an email hello@urbanplanar.com).

A Cold Crisp Morning Testing

What a lovely morning to do some VentusAR testing. The car was frozen so once it was scraped and I could see it was off to the Campsie’s to test the new iPad Pro 9. Everything looks good, so I thought I would share some photos of the sun on the frosty hill side (and how the Terrain5 wireline still lines up with the hillside giving me confidence in what VentusAR is showing).

Photo of Dumglass

Photo of Dumglass

Wireline view created with OS Terrain 5 data

Matching wireline created with OS Terrain 5 data