Category Archives: Collaboration

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

UrbanPlanAR is designed to enhance the value of BIM information by enabling in-field visualisation from any location, in real-time – creating more engaging and accessible understanding, integrated with current processes, software and formats.

The project is a development collaboration between Linknode Ltd and Heriot-Watt University, supported by Innovate UK (grant #102040).

The solution is a disruptive technology providing a 21st century alternative to desktop-based or VR assessment without outsourcing, remodelling or expensive proprietary systems.

UrbanPlanAR solves problems of:

  • Accurate urban location positioning – without the reliance on GNSS and only using affordable off-the-shelf consumer tablets
  • Disenfranchised stakeholders – by creating visualisations (impact assessments) personalised to their location in real-time
  • Late stage visualisation after design completion – by enabling integration and viewpoints throughout a project lifecycle at no additional cost
  • Remove expensive duplication in modelling – by providing a data pipeline integrated with existing industry tools and flowlines from major vendors

In order to:

  • Maximise reuse through existing investment in BIM and digital design
  • Provide accessible understanding of impact from within local communities
  • Deliver and share data for immediacy and relevance
  • Create trustworthy visualisations to enable better decision making

As the project transitions from technical development to application design, we need partners who are:

  • In the AEC industry running an active BIM project
  • Stakeholders from planning or public engagement
  • Willing to commit time and data for a private trial
  • Able to introduce new technology into an organisation
  • Brining a passion and interest in disruptive visualisation

In the first instance, please review the current concept video with “alpha” release software:

Our next development phases will address location precision, lighting and rendering by September and we will then be looking to arrange visits to showcase the work and create a partner network.

If our vision fits with your views on the reuse of BIM: using visualisation for communication and wider engagement, please feel free to call us on 0141 559 6170 or email hello@urbanplanar.com

www.urbanplanar.com

#Viz4BIM

 

 

Planning Review Scotland – Greater use of 3D

Independent Review of Planning – Recommendations

In September 2015, the Scottish Government put out a call for evidence under the Independent Review of Scottish Planning System. Linknode submitted our response on 30th November and this week (8 July 2016) the Scottish Government Response was announced on the Planning & Architecture blog.

There are two key recommendations in this report that demonstrate foresight and vision in the fields of innovation support for planning. Particularly around the use of 3D visualisations in the planning process.

Continue reading

Drone Visualisation

An obvious extension to the first-person visualisation experiences that Linknode deliver is using the same technology to deliver remote visualisation. By that, we mean to take the visualisation solution (mobile tablet) that our existing users hold in the field, and change the camera location. This could be to get a different perspective on a project or to place a point of view in a location which may be otherwise inaccessible or dangerous to access.
In theory, all the technical platform requirements (location, real-time sensors, 3D modelling, camera metrics and AR integration) that Linknode specialise in are the same as VentusAR and UrbanPlanAR. However, instead of the mobile platform being packaged into a consumer tablet, containing all the hardware we need, just like the best chefs we need to do some deconstruction of the product to create a new experience. Continue reading

AGI Scotland – 2016

Last week (16 March 2016) was the annual AGI Scotland event in Edinburgh.

Location is key to Linknode’s business – making information more relevant, accessible and understandable. The Association for Geographic Information is the profession for spatial scientists, geographers and GIS professionals and the Scottish program matched this variety. A couple of my highlights are below that resonated with our operations:

HES

Diana Murray spoke from the newly conglomerated Historic Scotland and the RCAHMS, forming Historic Environment Scotland in late 2015. HES have a vast array of georeferenced data exposed with services such as CANMORE. Digital provision has made the data more available – and hence more valuable. Diana explained how innovation in GIS and heritage is a key driver for the better understanding of data in order to make sense of the past. Linknode’s work in projects such as HistoryLens and with UPAR is 100% onboard with this vision.

Networks

Some great conference planning led to back-to-back presentations from the Canal & Rivers Trust and Network Rail. Both manage thousands of km of linear networks for leisure and transportation. 17th to 20th Century infrastructure is now managed by 21st Century mobile workforces, apps, 3D data and visualisation to increase efficiency and reduce downtime of complex services.
Some great examples of use of the data were given, but only scratching the surface of the big data being continually collected.

Google

Ed Parsons, who I worked with back in the last Millennium, is the Geospatial Technologist at Google and always hosts entertaining and thought provoking discussions.
With the interconnectedness of all things (IoT), and location, Ed asked what new services are we prepared to offer up our privacy for? As well as a suitably respectful discussion on philosophy of the late Douglas Adams.

And Finally

Rollo Home from the Ordnance Survey entertained with the observation that in space we struggle to orient well-defined frames of reference. In sci-fi the problem of “space and the y-axis” is always ignored as the very entertaining link explains!

212121-cartoon

For more information on the AGI, and the future of GIS and BIM, I recommend a review of the newly published Foresight Report.

I Love it When a Planning Application is Approved

Planning Application ApprovedWe noticed today that some of the solar projects we worked on in 2015 have now been approved!

You might remember, we added the solar domain to VentusAR during the summer of 2015. In the last 6 months VentusAR has been used in 24 solar planning applications. Our customers have been using VentusAR to assess and communicate the visual impact of the solar development in the following ways:

  • Landscape architects and developers are using it as a design tool to inform their design and layout process
  • Public engagement specialists are out and engaging the public by creating immediate and relevant photomontages
  • Local authorities are reviewing photomontages and wirelines to help decide if the visual impact of a project is acceptable or not

Approvals

Some successful applications we want to highlight have been submitted by Green Cat Renewables using visuals created with VentusAR. We worked closely with Green Cat to refine the solar domain (see the case study) and we are pleased that the tool has now been used to help their clients secure planning permission.

Brailsford Solar Farm

  • 1.21 MW covering 2.7 hectares in areaOutputImage_From_VentusAR
  • Reference 15/00526/FUL at Derbyshire Dales District Council
  • Application submitted: 23rd July 2015
  • Approval granted: 2nd December 2015
  • Two visualisations created using VentusAR submitted as part of the Landscape figures document
  • See full details here

Broxbournebury

  • 5 MW covering 9.06 hectaresBrailsford Solar Farm
  • Reference 07/15/0866/F at Broxbourne Borough Council
  • Application Submitted: 16th September 2015
  • Assessment done in VentusAR, but hidden on Broxbourne Borough Council planning system
  • Approval granted: 16th February 2016
  • Full details from here (search for 07/15/0866/F using Reference Search)

Planning applications

Out of those 24 projects: 15 we have no information on, 3 have been refused, 2 have been approved, 4 are still in planning. None have been refused on grounds of visual impact.[1]

planning statusVentusAR is successfully being used to communicate the impact and reduce cost and risk from the planning application process.

VentusAR for Solar

VentusAR is the only mobile tool for visualising what a ground mounted solar farm will look like before it is built. Solar farms can be setup in VentusAR from anywhere in the UK and then assessed quickly and easily using a tablet – the iPad Pro is our preferred device for community engagement. The iPad can be taken out with you on site to do assessment work, to engage with local residents and provide office or community based review and visualisation.

If you have not seen VentusAR for solar in action, give us a shout at hello@ventusar.com to hear more about it.

Notes

[1] None of the rejected applications mention visual impact as a reason for rejection. This is accurate at time of publication in February 2016.

UrbanPlanAR Call to Action – We Need Your Data!

This week we launched our new UrbanPlanAR website, where we have stated a ‘Call to Action’ to possible partners and users.

www.UrbanPlanAR.com

UrbanPlanAR is a Linknode R&D project in collaboration with Heriot-Watt University School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society, and funded by Innovate UK, and will deliver an augmented reality solution for visualising proposed urban developments.

PR

All stakeholders, including architects, developers, planning authorities as well as communities and citizens, will be able to picture planned developments within their actual urban environments in real-time.

As we launch the website, we are looking for early adopters to aide in our development of this ground-breaking solution. If you are interested in collaborating with us, sharing your data, projects and problems.

Later in 2016 we will be holding a seminar and demonstration. We welcome conversations now and to ensure that you keep up to date with news and invitations, please visit the website and get in touch. You can email us at hello@UrbanPlanAR.com

Linknode and Heriot-Watt University collaboration to visualise urban developments

Linknode Ltd in collaboration with the Royal Academy of Engineering Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design at Heriot-Watt University have commenced a two-year long research and development project.

UrbanPlanAR will create a “Mobile Architectural Visualisation Platform for Planners and Communities”. The project received funding from the InnovateUK funding board, following a successful bid in the ‘Innovation in Location Based Services’ competition.

PR

The business proposition for UrbanPlanAR is to revolutionise communication and engagement within urban design and master planning. UrbanPlanAR will deliver an augmented reality solution for visualising proposed urban developments.  All stakeholders, including architects, developers, planning authorities as well as communities and citizens, will be able to picture planned developments within their actual urban environments in real-time.

Existing architectural visualisation solutions are mainly desktop based, limiting reach and engagement, preventing robust assessment and decision making by planners and communities where it matters. Other visualisation systems (such as Linknode’s VentusAR for onshore wind planning) use GPS positioning, which is just not precise enough for many urban environments.  The solution will implement state-of-the-art urban location tracking, harnessing the value of increasingly available city 3D models to create a unique experience.  The system will also integrate technology to enable a smooth workflow with Building Information Modelling (BIM).

Dr Crispin Hoult, Director, Linknode said “The opportunity to extend Linknode’s business in AR solutions, in collaboration with the academic input from Heriot-Watt University will create a world-leading solution and a fabulous partnership for further opportunities.”

Dr Frédéric Bosché of Heriot-Watt University added, “UrbanPlanAR is about delivering a modern solution to transform stakeholder engagement in the construction sector, including engagement with the general public.  We are delighted about this project and the prospect of collaborating with Linknode, as our expertise and interests perfectly align and complement each other.”

The collaboration presents an exciting opportunity for Linknode who see this as a way to cement their position as leaders in the exponentially growing professional AR marketplace. Heriot-Watt University will benefit from this project through the generation of new and improved knowledge and expertise. The project will also likely raise new research questions that will drive future research projects.

This first collaboration between Linknode and Heriot-Watt University creates a strategic partnership that will leverage the research skills of Heriot-Watt University with the development and commercialisation expertise of Linknode.

http://www.hw.ac.uk/news/technology-and-academic-collaboration-to.htm