Category Archives: Uncategorized

Places, People and Planning Consultation

There is just one day left to respond to the “Places, people and planning – A consultation on the future of the Scottish planning system” proposal document.

Closing on 4 April 2017, this is the current stage in a process started in 2015 and with a plan to implement a new Planning Bill within the current parliamentary period.

The consultation paper is here, and is the follow-up to the report as previously discussed at Blogality.

It is great to see that Proposal 20 (out of 20) focuses on the benefits that technology and innovation can bring to the planning system.  There are three paragraphs, each highlighting areas where Linknode have input to date.  Section 4.29 is all about benefits of “digitally enabling transformation of our public services” that includes the work we pioneered for ePlanning (now eDevelopment) over the last 10 years.
Section 4.30 introduces current activities including the “potential on three-dimensional visualisations in planning” (our contributions here) describing the next steps as to “continue to explore and promote new visualisation technology by taking forwards research recommendations in a new programme of work“.
Finally, in 4.31 we are excited to see that the new digital task force will be appointed to take forwards digital transformation including mobile and drone (UAV) activities, matching our current research activities on engagement, access and visualisation.

Click below to contribute to the consultation – don’t delay!

Future Cities :: Future of Planning

We are delighted to confirm that we have been selected as one of the shortlisted 10 projects in the Future Cities Catapult “Future of Planning” initiative.eventbrite-002-1600x800



Our solution B4itsBuilt, mobilises citizen engagement through true visualisation.

This project will extend professional, accurate, real-world AR experiences into the public domain for the first time. It will deliver the template for a consumer solution to allow users to see the visual effect of a planning application. It will be possible to hold up a phone or tablet and see the impact of an application in order to enable informed engagement and increase community influence in decision making.

If you would like to be involved as a data partner, and have a project / development you would like to see – please feel free to get in touch – or call us on 0141 559 6170




VentusAR 5.2 Released

Today we are pleased to announce that VentusAR 5.2 is available for installation and update to all our customers.

VentusAR v5.2 is a customer feature focussed release, responding to the most demanded requests of users.

Full details are available at the Release Notes online for all our platforms, features include:

  • A3 Render PDF production
  • Support for Dutch coordinate systems
  • Improved performance on the media pages
  • New baseline panorama options
  • Render rename support
  • iOS 10 and iPad Pro9 support

iPad VentusAR

VentusAR 5.3 is expected in early 2017.

Edinburgh’s new Garden District development – what will it look like?

In the news yesterday, Murray Estates have been granted planning permission to build 6000 houses and leisure facilities on greenbelt land just outside Edinburgh. 

The image below represents an overview of the area the development is planned for.


Image courtesy of Edinburgh’s Garden District Brochure

Continue reading

Linknode Platoon!

To celebrate our 5th birthday, yesterday, we suited up for an afternoon of go-karting and strategic laser combat.


The go-karting was a GP3 – 10 qualifying laps, 12 heat laps, and then a 14 lap final race. Couple of crashes – George spun and got stuck, which made Dave stop, at which point Abi came careering round the corner, full speed and smashed right into the back of Dave. Ouch!

In the final race, Dave and Minh both got red-flagged for ‘accidentally’ nudging other drivers!

Final podium winners were:

Bronze: Rufus Mall
Silver: Ryan Welsh
Gold: Crispin Hoult

go_kart Continue reading

iOS 9.1 Released

ios9This week iOS 9.1 was released. We have now tested VentusAR 4.1 with this new update of iOS 9.1 for the iPad Air and Air 2 and everything seems to be working fine. We recommend updating to iOS 9.1 as soon as possible to take advantage of the new features added in this update.

More information is availbe from the release notes.

Minecraft Makes Wind Farm Development Projects Accessible

Press Release

Valid 00:01 April 1 2015 to 11:59am April 1 2015

New guidance for the visualisation of wind farms development understands that “stakeholder engagement is extremely important” and recognises that new developments have “considerable scope” for use as techniques are developed and presented.

In support of this guidance, Linknode today announced that development of a Minecraft version of its interactive visualisation and communication tools for wind farm development has reached preview stage.

MC - Ben Nevis

Minecraft Visualisation over Fort William to Ben Nevis (using Ordnance Survey Open Data – OS Terrain 50)

Minecraft is the most popular 3D world creation and exploration tool. Its use, up to now, has been primarily for gaming. However, its capabilities for planning assessment and visual impact assessment can now be readily exploited.

Crispin Hoult, CEO of Linknode explained: “This new development enables the visual impact of a project accessible on a PC, mobile phone or even a games console in the living room”. Hoult added, “with familiar devices and controls we can communicate information better and to a wide audience of interested stakeholders”.

MC - Sunrise over Ben Nevis

Minecraft Visualisation of a Sunrise Over Ben Nevis (using Ordnance Survey Open Data – OS Terrain 50)

Linknode’s business is the integration of real-world data for visualisation – typically in tablets for live photomontage visualisation with the flagship VentusAR software. The company realised that the underlying data and services can make the data available to a far wider audience, otherwise less engaged with the planning and development process.

In the future, SNH guidance for visualisation plans to embrace and incorporate all types of digital media, including real-time visuals and personalised access to data (after suitable testing and scrutiny).

The commercialisation and integrated product development is scheduled to take place over the next year to be released with a version of VentusAR on 1 April 2016.

Notes to Editors

Linknode is the creator of VentusAR – the tablet-based software that uses augmented reality to allow developers, planners and communities to see, in real-time, what a planned wind farm will look like in the landscape, from any location.

Minecraft: Available across multiple platforms, “Minecraft” is one of the most popular video games in history, with more than 100 million downloads, on PC alone, by players since its launch in 2009. “Minecraft” is one of the top PC games of all time, the most popular online game on Xbox, and the top paid app for iOS and Android in the US.

In September 2014 Microsoft Corp. announced it had reached an agreement to acquire Mojang, the celebrated Stockholm-based game developer, and the company’s iconic “Minecraft” franchise.

Merry Christmas from the Linknode Team


Well 2014 has been another fantastic and busy year for the team at Linknode. We’d like to thank our customers, suppliers and friends for all your support, and look forward to working with you in the New Year.

Merry Christmas one and all.

(from left to right) Minh, Stewart, Rufus, Abi, George, Crispin and Santa Calum


Xamarin Evolve Keynote

This week (6-10 October 2014), Linknode are in attendance at Altanta for the Xamarin Evolve conference. After two days of training, the conference proper is under way with sessions on the new features and services of what is coming up from Xamarin, now and over the next few months.

WP_20141008_005I thought I’d capture some of the my thoughts about the keynote talk and some of the products that I am looking forward to trying out.


Firstly the atmosphere of the keynote: being from the UK, we don’t get many big developer conferences. I get all my previous experience from watching online (usually distracted while doing something else). It felt good to see Xamarin promoting the geeks up on stage, not just the executives talking up their products. It was polished and smooth, but you could feel the excitement as they took you through the new features.

Key Message

The key take home message for me was summed up by Nat when he said:

“Your app, even if it’s an enterprise app, is next to the best apps in the world on someone’s phone.”

And he’s right. User experience and how people interact with your app is crucial. We looked closely at our user experience in the VentusAR 2.0 release, but its something we have to continually work on to evolve and get right.

Xamarin Platform Line-up

A quick note on the tools that Xamarin introduced, and what they mean for VentusAR development:

Android Player

It is well known by developers that the Google-provided android emulators are really slow to use. So slow, that you give up with the task you were trying emulate and resort to finding an actual hardware device. Xamarin released their own android player to provide a decent emulator. This will mean that we can test our apps against more virtual devices and screen resolutions to improve the quality of the android apps in general. One question I’d be interested to know the answer to is how does the performance stack up against the GenyMotion emulator? More information from the Emulator page.

Android Profiler

There are many reasons why tracking memory usage and performance on android is really hard: virtual machines and limited native tools to name two. Today Miguel De Icaza unveiled his fourth attempt at an android profiler – and this one looks good. For anyone who gets an OutOfMemoryException in android and has no idea where to turn, this looks like it will be a great help and benefit. More information from the Profiler page.


The last feature I want to highlight is Xamarin Sketches. This is a live, interactive coding environment which allows you to experiment by typing in commands in the sketches window. As a long time user of the Visual Studio Immediate window and LINQPad, it will be very useful to be able to run commands on an android or iOS device quickly and directly without having to recompile. See more on the sketches documentation page.

Xammy Awards

In other news, the entries for the Xammy Awards have opened and I was pleased (and slightly surprised) to see the quality of the entries. Specifically have a look at the Honeywell Total Comform Connect app (built by our friends and neighbours Screenmedia). Have a look at all the entries and see just what can be done with Xamarin technology.


That was three big features unveiled at the keynote, and I didn’t even mention the Xamarin Insights analytics and error tracking product or Xamarin Test Cloud Enhancements. Congratulations to the whole Xamarin team for getting all this released!

Anyway, tonight’s reception is in the Georgia Aquarium, so I’ll be spending the evening with geeks and sharks (both never sleep, so the myth says).