Peering through the smoke? tensions in landscape visualisation

Robert MacFarlane, Matthew Lievesley, Harry Stagg, Keith Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Lievesley and MacFarlane constructed a pilot software system to show how technical information from Graphical Information Systems (GIS) could be presented in compelling three-dimensional formats suitable for non-specialist audiences. This paper describes the potential of the proposed framework for evaluating new products, systems and services and highlights its potential as a participatory design, research and guidance tool. MacFarlane considered the future implications of visualisation tools on custom and practice in GIS. Stagg and Turner focussed on the technical capability of the proposed system. Lievesley instigated and managed the construction of the pilot, set boundaries for the human interface elements and contributed to the discussion on functional versus playful software systems. This paper aims to influence designers and developers of new systems for Landscape Visualisation. It argues for a measured application of the technology that does not prioritise technical capacity above the values and requirements of end-users. It draws on a number of earlier projects, including Lieversley’s digital landscape modelling. The research also builds on the ‘CODEWORKS NITRO’ Digital Technologies Centre of Excellence project, which delivered knowledge-transfer assistance in digital design to 170 companies across the North East. Developing the pilot system involved mapping communication technologies from previously disparate fields, such as GIS and 3D surface modelling tools from the automotive styling industry, then integrating them into a new format that was visually compelling and easy to use. BBC National Interactive Research invited Lievesley to present the research to its design team in White-City on 18/12/01. Lievesley and Macfarlane were also invited to present the pilot at the British Tourist Authority, London, and the Countryside Agency; ‘Access Information Online’ seminar Feb 2002, Leeds. The pilot was funded by Northumbria from its Research Development Fund. The conceptual framework was developed in the business plan for CODEWORKS NITRO, resulting in £1.2M ERDF.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-359
JournalComputers, Environment and Urban Systems
Volume29
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2005

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