Category Archives: Policy

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

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

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

Bad Murder?

Today (18 June 2015), Amber Rudd, Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change announced that the government was bringing forwards a Tory manifesto pledge to controversially end the subsidy for onshore wind development a year early (to April 2016). The announcement has been (and continues to be) challenged by industry and Scottish government.

This is undoubtedly bad timing for an industry on the cusp of standing on it’s own feet – but it’s also not the killing off of a massive employment and investment component of the economy. The industry will carry on becoming leaner and deliver efficiencies across planning, construction and operation. Linknode will continue to deliver digital capabilities to provide rapid, proportionate and accessible solutions to help facilitate development, planning and community engagement.

This week I was reading the “Subsidies and costs of EU Energy” Final Report, published in November 2014. For those who think TL;DR the chart below comes from the final page:

ECOFYS - Levelised Energy Costs

Despite bad reporting from much of the popular press in the UK, it is clear that subsidies across all energy generation – including fossil fuels and nuclear – make up the energy bill mix. Add to this the recent call from G7 countries to phase out fossil fuels entirely, worldwide by the end of the century and we need a programme of mid-term goals for the next generation that will require public and private investment.

So, today we are where we are.
Tomorrow, onshore wind will further innovate and move forwards – Linknode are an enabling partner in the industry and continue to facilitate economic digital data services and cost effective scoping planning and development tools with VentusAR.

Does Amber Rudd mean Bad Murder? Only in an anagram generator.

Viewing and Purchasing Cumulative Datasets

In our previous blog we introduced the VentusAR cumulative data service and described just how big the dataset is. Now I guess you’re now wondering how you get access to it?

It’s simple, and can save you time, effort and money in your everyday work.

As a VentusAR customer, you already have the tools to allow you to view a summary of the cumulative projects within the National Dataset. Full access to the details and a snapshot update are available at a small cost.

Now, non-VentusAR app customers can also access the data by signing up as a Cumulative Data User (portal-only, no app), please contact us for more information.


So, where to start? At the Portal login as usual, select the project you want to assess the cumulative impact on, and navigate to the ‘Cumulative’ tab.

Here you can:

  • View any ‘Organisational’ Cumulative Projects you have set up within the portal
  • View the Free Summary from the National Dataset
  • Request a Snapshot of the Project Area (remember, a Snapshot is a time-stamped update of the cumulative projects following our search and refresh process)
  • View your Snapshot Data

Free Summary

The free summary shows the number of cumulative projects found within the range set by the user (i.e. 30km), they are organised by project stage.

free_summary

You can change the search range by navigating to Edit Project page and entering the specific radius you require in the Cumulative Search Radius field. This enables different searches to be quickly and easily previewed for summary counts before ordering a Snapshot. The National Database is refreshed every two months.

Requesting a Snapshot

To ensure the data is up-to-date for a particular project, each Snapshot delivery is validated and refreshed individually for all the Cumulative Data within your project radius.

The charges for this service are worked out by the number of projects found within your search area. The Portal will show you how much you will be charged, and youcan review before committing. You must agree to our data usage and pricing terms.

To request the Snapshot, click the Request Snapshot button.

request

Once you have agreed to terms and ordered a Snapshot, instant access is provided to full details within the National Dataset for the project area.  This includes project name and location, turbine information (locations, sizes and models) and planning application number.

(Remember, the national dataset extract may be up to two-months out of date so should not be used for planning submissions).

An up-to-date Snapshot refresh will be provided within 5 – 7 working days of order.  This includes project name and location, turbine information (locations, sizes and models) and planning application number. The snapshot will be delivered directly to your project within the Portal, and will replace the extract from the National Dataset. The Snapshot provides up to date details of nearby projects, so may be used for planning submissions.

Additional metadata is included in the snapshot to show the source source and date retrieved to provide an auditable trail of cumulative data.

Viewing the Cumulative Data within the App

You can view the Free Summary in the app too, The details will be locked however, and will only show the project locations on the map summary.

pin_locked

After you have requested a Snapshot, the Cumulative Data will be available in the app, on the map summary, the Fly Through and on My View. Until the Snapshot is delivered, this will be the latest National Dataset details available.

myview

Exporting Cumulative Data

As well as being viewable in the app, the Snapshot Cumulative Dataset you purchase can also be downloaded for your own use as a .CSV (comma separated, plain text) file.

Upon purchasing the dataset, you agree to only use your data for provision of the VentusAR system and services, or in relation to your use for that project only and not for data resale.

If you have any questions regarding access to our Cumulative Data, please feel free to call us on 0141 559 6170 or email hello@ventusar.com

Introducing a New On-Demand Service for Cumulative Visual Impact Data

The UK’s first on-line service to search and report on the cumulative visual impact of onshore wind turbines has been developed by Linknode.

Launched at RenewableUK 2014 in Manchester on 11 November, this new data service can cut the time taken for assessments from ‘weeks to minutes’, slashing costs for wind farm developers, local communities and public bodies involved in assessing planning submissions.

It is available immediately to existing customers and, from late November, will be integrated into VentusAR v2.1, the latest version of Linknode’s visual assessment mobile app for tablets, launched originally in 2013.

VentusAR tablet application in wireline mode showing a proposed wind farm with the cumulative impact of five planned projects.

VentusAR tablet application in wireline mode showing a proposed wind farm with the cumulative impact of five planned projects.

We are very proud and excited to be the first in the UK to launch a service of this type, which is the product of more than twelve months concentrated research and development work between ourselves and our data partners.  We believe it is an important time saving and cost cutting enhancement to VentusAR’s capabilities and, as such, we are confident it will meet with a favourable response from developers, communities and planners alike.

View the following video to discover how cumulative data can be instantaneously incorporated into the VentusAR 3D visualisations, or integrated with previously captured photography, to validate the overall impression of change in the landscape or from residential properties.

 

Public Engagement for Wind Turbine Proposals – Good Practice Guidance

This week (3 November, 2014) the Scottish Government posted a consultation draft document on guidance and best practice for wind turbine planning.  The document aims to create discussion and feedback and allows stakeholders to contribute and ultimately help better engage with communities and members of the public.

Both consultation draft and the feedback document are available at the link below:

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2014/11/7727

Details of the process are described below (taken directly from the Scottish Government text).

In response to the Public Petition PE1469 the Scottish Government has agreed to prepare guidance on good practice community engagement methods for wind energy development proposals. The petition was lodged with the Scottish Parliament on 19th March 2013 and closed by the Local Government & Regeneration Committee on 20th August 2014.

http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/71311.aspx

This consultation seeks responses to the questions set out within the draft guidance document. This allows stakeholders an opportunity to comment on the content of the guidance. Comments will be taken into account before the document is finalised in Spring 2015.

This guidance has been produced to advise a range of potential stakeholders including local authorities, developers, community groups and members of the public.

There are many aspects to public engagement, and Linknode’s VentusAR technology fits into the visual impact component – helping make developments more accessible, relevant and understandable.  This is often the most contentious part of development affecting a community and we have many clients and examples of how stakeholders and visual receptors have utilised the solution within the pre-planning consultation and formal planning process.

The Scottish government consultation comes close on the heels of the DECC “Community Engagement and Benefit Guidance for Onshore Wind” that we covered in the Blogality entry last month.  In a similar vein, see the Wordle below for the key words and phrases used in the narrative.

Public Engagement for Wind Turbines Good Practice

Public Engagement for Wind Turbines Good Practice

Linknode encourage everyone involved in wind development; landowners, developers, communities, members of the public and other formal and informal groups to read and take active participation in the review process.  We will report on the outcomes and updated guidance in 2015.