Category Archives: Customer

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

VentusAR 5.0 Released

We are delighted to announce that this morning we released VentusAR v5.0 into the app stores.

The release includes many new features across Wind, Grid, Solar and Building domains. The new features make the assessment and visualisation process on iPad or Android quicker and more efficient. To highlight a few: we have added new modes for displaying models, the ability to add multiple traces to a capture and introduced an improved, streamlines render output process.

Display Modes for Models

We have added new modes for displaying models – as classic models, in block colour (with no lighting / shadows) and as outlines.

  • The colours help to distinguish building types
  • The outline / transparency helps to show what is behind the development
  • This helps assessment process to understand how development fits in the environment
Block colour mode

Block colour mode

Outline mode

Outline mode

Model mode

Model mode

 

 

 

 

Adding Multiple Traces to Gallery Photographs

You can now add multiple traces to a capture, for example, removing multiple areas of foreground (hedges etc). This produces more realistic visualisations as the model appears to be within the image and not superimposed on top.

IMG_0095

3D model in Wireline Mode

Models shown on top of photograph

Multiple traces areas defined

Final Render – the buildings are shown in the photograph

 

Streamlined Render Process

We have improved the render process to ensure users can select all the options they want
– making output render production process quicker.

IMG_0099 IMG_0102 IMG_0101

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Further information and full details of the other features in VentusAR 5.0 can be found in the release notes for iPad, Android and the Portal

If you have any queries regarding these new features, or you would like to chat further about how VentusAR can help you with your visualisations, please give us a call on 0141 559 6170 or email hello@ventusar.com 

Visualising Anaerobic Digestion Plants

As well as the usual renewables models we can help visualise – wind, solar etc.,  we have started looking at other types and shapes of models – including Anaerobic Digestion and storage plants.

The larger scale on-farm AD plants will of course have a impact on the landscape, and we can help design and visualise what they will look like to reduce visual impact. VentusAR can help aid visibility and assessment of AD plants, and we are working on adding colours and textures to create a more realistic visualisation.

The following images are an a example project and there are no planned projects in this area.

IMG_0058

Anaerobic Digestion plant in Fly Through mode

Continue reading

VentusAR Customer Case-Study: LDA Design

LDA Design use VentusAR to rapidly evaluate and clearly communicate projects. 

LDA Design are an independent creative consultancy helping clients to deliver places which work well and provides design and landscape-led planning services to developers, landowners, communities, universities and government. As planners, LDA Design take a positive approach to securing consent, optimising the opportunity to win support and are proud of their work for renewable energy schemes: small or large, they are all part of a low carbon future.

LDA Design needed a cost effective solution for producing visualisations for rapid site appraisal and design testing of renewable energy projects. In particular at early stage landscape feasibility work and in small projects where limited budgets precluded the production of large numbers of verifiable visualisations.

The Solution

onshore150-e1438175454732Having seen the potential of the product in 2013, LDA Design have worked with Linknode to inform the development of VentusAR. Initial use focussed on landscape feasibility studies as VentusAR allowed rapid visualisation production from a variety of locations.
Since then, VentusAR has been used to efficiently locate LVIA viewpoints with clear lines of sight, and in assessment scoping discussions with a range of consultees. VentusAR has also proved valuable in assessing potential impacts on residential visual amenity and settlements and providing supplementary visualisations to illustrate assessments.

Product Development

solar150-e1438175420529LDA Design continue to be actively involved in the development of VentusAR. They contribute to the use of bespoke terrain data, the solar domain and performance and usability testing in the field.
LDA Design also collaborate with Linknode in the production of bespoke development models for other forms of development to be used within VentusAR. They have been actively involved with Linknode on academic research exploring trust in the visual representation of wind farms.

VentusAR helps the LDA Design team to deliver faster, better and more cost effective advice about wind farm design and visual impacts. Being able to ‘see’ a scheme from any location aids our feasibility studies. Mary Fisher, LDA Design

The Benefits

buildingLDA Design benefits from being able to rapidly evaluate projects early on in the development lifecycle and being able to clearly communicate information to clients and consultees.. Additionally, a close working relationship with an engaged and responsive team at Linknode has allowed continued development of the product and exploration & development of new, valuable uses.

Key Facts

Number of VentusAR licenses  5
Domain  Wind and Solar
Number of wind projects created  67
Number of solar projects created  7

You can view the full case study here

If you would like to chat about using VentusAR for your wind, solar or grid visualisations, please feel free to call us on 0141 559 6170 or drop us a line at hello@ventusar.com

 

 

I’ve Run Out of Space: Storage Management in VentusAR App

We’ve heard this one a few times in the last couple of months:

“Help, I’ve run out space and I can’t take any more photos with VentusAR.

One of the new features we released recently help you manage the space the gallery takes up on the device. Some of our customers were reporting that their devices were starting to fill up. Not everyone uses the iPad pro with its 128GB storage space. Some users are on the iPad Air 2 with 16GB or the Samsung tab pro with 32GB. Continue reading

The answer is blowing in the wind

How many times have you gone out to a site visit  – where more than likely – it’s pretty windy!

You have your ring-binder full of wirelines, constraint maps etc. – you’re breaking your back trying to carry it, and your papers are flying about all over the place! Sound familiar? Well, we can help!

With VentusAR, you can download all the PDF’s you need from the portal, and have everything in one place, on your tablet.

It’s pretty simple to do and can save you a a lot of hassle.

How to:

  • From the Portal (portal.ventusar.com)
  • Choose your Project
  • Scroll down to Reference PDF Files
  • Choose the relevant pdf you need and Begin Upload

image 1

 

  • Open VentusAR on your tablet
  • Open the relevant project
  • Click View More Info

Capture

  • The list of all PDFs will be shown

image 2

  • Choose the PDF you want to be able to access and a window will be shown giving you options of how to store the file. Here we Copy to iBooks

image 4And that’s it.

All your files in one handy, small, lightweight and windproof place.

If you would like to learn more about features within VentusAR, please get in touch at hello@ventusar.com or give us a call on 0141 559 6170

Assessing buildings onsite

Since 2012, VentusAR has enabled users to conduct onsite visualisations and assessments of onshore wind, solar and grid connections.

Our latest buildings feature will provide users with the ability to assess the developments of buildings and houses. We describe this as assessing the impact of rural developments. (We have another product we are building to allow users to assess urban developments – see UrbanPlanAR.com for details).

Assessment mode using the camera feed

Assessment mode using the camera feed

The development work to enable the visualisation of buildings to be assessed within VentusAR has now commenced. Once this feature is live, it will provide our clients with a few key benefits:

  • Save time during design process – Quickly create a 3D overview of the project and check sight lines and symmetry etc.
  • Save time while onsite – Check how visible a development will be from anywhere – as quickly as pointing the iPad and taking a photo.
  • Engage the public better – Take the tablet to a member of the public to show what the development would look like from their house.
  • Increase the chance of a successful planning application – VentusAR visuals aide better communication with the Planning Authorities.
  • Costs less than the price of 3DSMax and a trained operator.

These benefits will be delivered across the following features:

  • Choose 3D models from a library of buildings (pitched roof house, flat roof house, block of flats, barns).
  • Enter user configurable height, length and depth.
  • View a Fly Through to show the buildings in the context of the landscape.
  • Use My View to show what the development will look like on screen, using the real-time camera as a live background. Either in assessment mode showing outlines, structure and visibility or realistic mode with appropriate texture and detail.
  • Easily share photos and videos of what the development is going to look like.
Wireline Photomontage

Wireline photomontage of a building assessment

This work is due to be completed mid 2016. If you are working on designing or assessing buildings in a rural environment, we would love to hear from you and get your input to help define the product.

Please get in touch by emailing hello@ventusar.com or calling 0141 559 6170. We can come and show you what we are up to, how we can improve your assessment processes and save you money!

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.