Category Archives: GIality

VentusAR included in 3D Technology in Planning Report

This week the research report “USE OF DIGITAL AND 3D VISUALISATION TECHNOLOGY IN PLANNING FOR NEW DEVELOPMENT” was published by the Scottish Government.Planning_Report

This independent report examines the role and potential of digital imagery and 3D visualisation in the planning process in Scotland. Produced by the James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen, it was commissioned to inform the review of the planning system.

The report makes reference to the work of Linknode in the use, acceptance and value of 3D visualisation in planning, especially for real-time, in-situ visualisations for better contextual understanding of change and development (George – our technical director – was especially pleased as the report includes a photo of him using VentusAR at Clyde Wind Farm).

GBIt details the importance of digital equivalence in planning and how future advances in 3D visualisations should be embraced by local authorities and developers at earlier stages in the planning process to improve engagement and understanding.

Linknode entirely support this direction and look forward to on-going participation in the development of 3D visualisation in planning & development in Scotland and beyond. To be involved further, review the “Places, People and Planning” consultation of the future of the Scottish Planning System with opportunities to respond.

Report History and Scottish Planning Review

As previously blogged, this is part of the Scottish Planning Review that started with a call for evidence in September 2015.  The response to this was published in July 2016 (our comments here), leading to the commissioning of a report in October 2016 into the use of 3D visualisation technology in planning for new development.  This was funded by the Planning & Architecture Division of the Scottish Government.

Case Study: VentusAR

Out of the 44 bits of technology mentioned in the the report, our VentusAR and UrbanPlanAR solutions for delivering visualisations is noted as the only mobile augmented reality tool (see Annex A for full list).  Of course, we are also based in Glasgow making our contributions innovative, relevant and local!

The report provides a case study on VentusAR for providing in-field Augmented Reality for Agri-Renewables. The key benefits highlighted in this case study are:

  • The use of real world imagery (still or animated) provides high levels of realism for use at early stages of a project.
  • A low cost and level of risk associated with the investment in the visual representations.
  • The incorporation of real-world video enables the representation of movement in the landscape (e.g. swaying trees, vehicles) […] and thus important in coherent representation of a scene of proposed change.
  • Coherence supports the impression of credibility of visualisations.

About VentusAR

We are already providing our clients with the tools to better visualise and communicate their developments. Our online case studies include:

Green Cat Renewables

Greencat Solar visualisationWhen using VentusAR, GreenCat Renewables estimate they save 30% of the time required to visualise and assess Solar and Wind projects. Read the full case study.

 

LDA Design

VentusAR - Wind Turbine Visualisation LDALDA 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. Read the full case study.

Hoolan Energy

Aerial photography of the Hesta Project

Hoolan Energy used VentusAR to do better public engagement for the Costa and Hesta wind projects in Orkney.   Read the full case study or watch the videos: Costa and Hesta.

 

Find out More

You can read more about VentusAR (our product for delivering visualisations in a rural environment) and UrbanPlanAR (for creating visualisations in an urban environment).

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 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 

What Does Pokémon GO Mean for AR?

Unless you have been under a rock for the past few weeks (July 2016), you can’t have helped but notice that Pokémon GO has somewhat taken the world by storm.  In doing so it has also brought the term “augmented reality” (AR) to the masses with everyone including Tim Cook and Mark Zuckerberg weighing in with comment and opinion.

Pokemon GO

Linknode use AR as a technology to provide real-world, real-time visualisation for planning and development, so what does the conversion of a technology into a consumer application mean?

The Google Maps Connection

Within the geospatial business, we have seen a similar transition previously.  Back in the day, when digital mapping meant high end desktops and expensive software, the introduction of online mapping had a disruptive effect on the industry.

A startup called Keyhole was acquired by Google in 2004 and the founder John Hanke went on to enable Google Maps.  This was the first time that most lay-people had had access to mapping beyond the street atlas in the back of the car.  It was a revolution.

Within the geospatial industry, initially it caused a dilution in the “value of GIS systems” message.  Why pay big bucks for something you could get for free from Google?

But long term the understanding that the consumer offering is not the same as professional solutions has created a market, provided a route to understanding and clarity over the limitations.  Pokémon GO does not manage occlusion, real-time lighting, complex models, or precision coordinate system management for engineering accuracy.

And what happened to John Hanke?  Well, he went onto develop a clique AR game called Ingress and then his studio Niantic developed Pokémon GO – the guy has form!  You can read more detail with a search, example Forbes article here.

Future

So the future is AR.  But Linknode’s real-world AR (GIality) solutions VentusAR and UrbanPlanAR are as different to Pokémon GO as ArcGIS is to Google Maps.  Still, at least people have an idea what we do now!

Mario Kart GoImage Courtesy of News Thump – Release of Mario Kart Go! for Satnav ‘hopefully won’t cause too many accidents’

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

 

 

Which is Better for a Public Meeting?

In the last few weeks, as part of our BIM stakeholder engagement for the Innovate UK funded UrbanPlanAR.com project, I have visited the UK Ordnance Survey (OS) and seen their presentations at Geo Business.

Whilst traditionally (for about the past 225 years) the OS has been involved in data capture and presentation, increasingly the business is understanding the value in the use of information.  Moving spatial data from geometry to intelligence and backdrop to analytical services.

In relation to Linknode’s geospatial visualisation, one slide from Gary McDonald resonates with our use of technology.  The opportunity to make change more accessible and understandable – and to deliver it on-site where context counts will lead to greater engagement and a more democratic and better decision making.  Which do you think is better?…

Which is better...

For more information on Linknode’s visualisation products and services visit VentusAR.com or follow the contact us links.

Staff Spotlight – George Banfill

Our latest team spotlight is our Technical Director George Banfill.

GB

Who are you and what is your role at Linknode?
I’m George Banfill – husband, father, sailor, cyclist, geek and tired. (Comes of having a 3 year old and a 4 month old at home).

 What is your role at Linknode?
I oversee all the product software development and software releases we do as a company.  I was employee number two back in August 2011 and have been working on building cross platform mobile apps and supporting systems ever since. I’ve been involved in building and overseeing Windows phone, Windows 8, Xamarin.Android and Xamarin.iOS development as well as creating asp.net web sites to support them. Continue reading

Data, Data, Everywhere…

… but what about spatial data security?

People expect instant access to location based data. That could be anything from a simple map to questions like, where is the nearest library? what is the current traffic? what does my holiday home look like?  In addition, initiatives like INSPIRE require data to be made available as download or services.

This push-pull for information has been simplified through the adoption of open standards, web mapping, cheap hardware, open source software and available skills coming out of universities.

Excellent… to a point.

When does open access and availability of spatial information become a risk to an organisation? 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