Category Archives: UrbanPlanAR

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

New year, New model, New video: UrbanPlanAR is coming

Its a New Year, so we decided it was time to update our UrbanPlanAR video to show some of the latest things we have done.

This example shows a concept model shown in the camera feed. It makes it really quick and easy to communicate what the new building will look like. Once everything is loaded, it’s as quick and easy as pointing the iPad in the right direction and the new building shows in the camera feed at the right place.

upar_screen_2 There are plenty more exciting things to share with you over the coming months, including how visualisation works with BIM, video is changing everything and case studies of UrbanPlanAR in use.

If you would like to know more about the future of Urban Visualisation, drop us a line hello@urbanplanar.com, come meet us at Scotland BIM or find us on twitter @UrbanPlanAR #Viz4BIM

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.

Testing the Location Tracking in UrbanPlanAR

UrbanPlanAR shows a planned building development that has not yet been built. If a developer was going to put an office building in the view below, what would it look like? How visible would it be? Would that be acceptable or is the visual impact too great?

We use accurate localisation technology (built by the experts at Heriot Watt) to get a location and look direction for the iPad. Part of this approach uses computer vision techniques to identify what can be seen by the camera on the iPad and find a location from what can be seen.

UrbanPlanAR Testing

Out testing localisation in UrbanPlanAR at the Lyle Centre at Heriot Watt University

This is a new product we are going to launch early 2017. At the moment we are in the testing phases where we are trying the software in a variety of different locations and urban areas. If you would like to be involved in the development of UrbanPlanAR, then we are looking for partners. Read our Call for Data and Invitation to Participate (or just drop us an email hello@urbanplanar.com).

How Building is Going Digital

Today, I saw an article on the BBC news site about how the building business is going digital. I want to pick up on a few key points that are made in this article and to highlight how UrbanPlanAR can be used either as a design tool or a communication tool to show what project will look like. If you haven’t read the article it’s available on the BBC website

upar_ipad-1024x637-2-1024x637

Continue reading

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