Future is all change with digital technology

As part of the Landscape Futures lecture series, organised by the Landscape Institute, digital technologies were the topic in March. From the press release:

“Digital technology is altering all aspects of landscape, according to speakers at the most recent Landscape Futures debate, ‘How will the digital future affect the urban landscape?. It is affecting the way that landscape architects design, the way that they gather information and the way that people use the landscape.

Sophie Thompson, a director of LDA Design and the main speaker, talked about intelligent space mapping. Information gathered from smartphones for example can be used to understand better how people actually use cities. Projects such as Dublinked make vast amounts of data available for sharing.

Is this valuable for analysis, Thompson asked, or is it information overload? ‘It should enable us to understand more accurately how people perceive, use and move through the public realm and about the environment generally,’ she said. ‘As time goes on these datasets will become more accessible and easy to understand and also the different data sets are starting to be aggregated.’

Read the full article on the Landscape Institute website.

Geodesign – Maximizing Beneficial Impacts International Conference, Bejing 28-29th October 2013

The following call for papers may be particularly interesting for our readers in China, especially in Beijing: The first international geodesign conference in Beijing will be held on October 28,29 2013. See the call for papers at www.geodesignpku.org

"This conference will be joint effort of the Peking University and ESRI. This International Geodesign Conference builds upon recent advances in the US and elsewhere, in bringing together a combination of experts – planners, designers, scientists, public policy experts and decision makers – to present and discuss current projects, emerging models of Geodesign practice, and to speculate on directions and improvements for the future."

Please note that 30 April, 2013 is the deadline for submission of abstracts.

Le:Notre Online Seminar Landscape Architecture + Climate Change

Today, the University of Nuertingen hosts another session in its series of online lectures on landscape architecture and climate change. I invite you to join an interesting session scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday, 8th of January, from 18 – 19 30 pm CET. You can join the seminar simply by clicking on this link and adding a guest name:


Invited are three experts who have also published two books on the theme during the last year. The programme will be as follows:

  • Don Quixote, Sancho Panza and the Landscape Architect: Exploring Alternative Energy Landscapes, Dr. Sven Stremke|WUR Wageningen, NL
  • The social acceptability of energy landscapes, Dr Olaf Schroth
  • Engaging Communities on Climate Change with Visual Learning Tools, Stephen Sheppard, UBC Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions

We will end the session with an interactive discussion.

In the coming weeks there will be two further sessions – the last of this series –  that might be of interest for you. They are accessible the same way as this one, always from 18 – 19 30 CET:

  • Tuesday, 15th of January: Adapting open space planning to climate change Lecture by Dr. Sanda Lenzholzer|WUR Wageningen, NL
  • Tuesday, 22nd of January: Adapting Urban Planting design to climate change Lecture by Dr. MaryCarol Hunter|University of Michigan, USA

Please note that the presentations are further provided online under the following URL where you can watch them even if you miss the live discussion:




Architecture + Engineering = Stunning Visual & Structural Harmony

Today, I am glad to present a post by guest author Victoria Lipnick from the Engineering Degree Resources Project about integration and collaboration in the design and construction disciplines:

Integration, collaboration, and interoperability are still the buzzwords of architects, engineers, and designers. Increasing use of technology has allowed for seamless integration of many fields of study when designing and building structures ranging from public parks to private homes. Now, professionals can create increasingly effective and efficient solutions that take all the angles into account, together. However, there is still plenty of room for improvement, particularly regarding the interfaces of applications that professionals use to collaborate. To this end, programmers keep improving their products and honing their ability to predict what architects and engineers will want in the future.

Projects have benefitted so much from multi-dimensional teamwork in the field that students are being given similarly cohesive assignments. Texas A&M, for instance, started a new interdisciplinary initiative, which includes features, such as the Interactive Arts and Technology Initiative, the Green Roof and Green Wall Project, among others. One tine of the initiative will incorporate faculty and students from both visualization and landscape architecture departments.

The initiative is even ambitious enough to reach into the humanities for some of its inspiration. There will be 3-D reconstructions of museum collections, as well as renditions of landscapes and cities. Professors are even collaborating to teach a class on ways to render literature and musical forms in space. The results of student input and design will be displayed around campus, literally changing the world in which they live.

Although teamwork is being given increasing amounts of focus both in and outside the workplace, technology is not yet ideally suited for interdisciplinary collaboration. An Institute Research in Construction report on systems integration in architecture, engineering, and facilities management addresses some of the primary areas in which the technology can improve the efficacy of interdisciplinary work. The principle struggle is the same as that of consumer technologies. Namely, individual programs/applications do not know how to work in tandem, and no one has developed a single management system that can manage all of the different types of data.

The same principle extends to the multifarious factors that support the success or failures of projects. For instance, upfront costs for the construction firm may translate to long-term energy savings for building owners. Lifecycle issues, such as maintenance and environmental impact, have not been delineated and defined. In the end, professionals want a way to compute a total best value for each test case. Guessing is no longer good enough. Computing power has progressed to the point that quantitative computations of this order are now possible. It is only a matter of theorizing an equation and programming the solution.

Take a complex public project, such as proposed expansion to Los Angeles Union Station, which is set to complete by 2050. The Los Angeles Times reported the completion of the first stage of the project, which included plans and visual presentations to renovate the 40-acre plot around the current station. Large-scale projects, such as this one, bring all of the constituents and factors into full view. Some teams proposed plans for outward stretches of development, in the direction of the civic center, or toward the river. One of the most prestigious firms to bid, Renzo Piano, even suggested a small array of towers to be erected near the station, as it stands now.

Currently, there is no way to gauge all the aspects of one idea’s validity over another, because there are simply too many fields involved. Perhaps some day soon the technological infrastructure will be laid to connect and analyze the various scenarios under a single, coherent application.

Author: Victoria Lipnick


Future of social networks and location based services

According to Josh Williams (formerly Gowalla, now Facebook), Facebook has 2 billion items per month tagged with a location. Add Microsoft's Photosynth and the possibilities for the automatic generation of 3D landscapes are endless.

LVIZ Blog in the Bauwelt blogschau

The German architecture magazine Bauwelt presents LVIZ in its third column about architecture and planning related blogs: blogschau03.

We welcome all new readers, who were inspired by the blogschau article to visit our blog, and invite you to browse through the LVIZ posts about landscape visualization and related themes such as geovisualization, representation of vegetation, virtual globes and much more.

URISA Journal: Special issues on PPGIS and GIS in Spatial Planning

Please note that the URISA Journal is currently calling for contributions to special issues on
2) GIS in Spatial Planning.

For more information, please visit

Case Study: Sea Level Rise Adaptation in Delta at AAAS Conference – Feb 19


The case study, Sea Level Rise Adaptation in Delta, BC, Canada, will be highlighted at the AAAS Conference during a Press briefing on Sunday Feb 19th at 3:00 pm. David Flanders from CALP, who produced multiple very influential 3D landscape visualizations during the project, will be interviewed.  More details on this case study.


Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science 2012, Vancouver February 16-20

Although the AAAS Annual Meeting 2012 is not specifically focused on landscape visualization or geodesign, it is so huge and has such a broad variety of themes that I would like to point it out here. The communication of climate change (Mike Hulme, University of East Anglia) through scenarios (Richard Moss, IPCC author), landscape visualization (Stephen Sheppard, UBC) and in virtual globes (Rebecca Moore, Google) will be discussed in the Beyond Climate Models: Rethinking How To Envision the Future with Climate Change session.

The full program can be browsed on the AAAS 2012 website. Online Registration is still open this week until January 26.

An Online Landscape Object Library to Support Interactive Landscape Planning

The following post is by Chris Pettit from the ISPRS WG II/6 blog and follows up with Philip Paar´s post about the Future Internet Special Issue "Landscape":

The sixth of a series of papers as part of a special issue of the Open AccessJournal Future Internet on the theme “Internet and Landscapes“, as edited by the ISPRS Working II/6 on Geographical Visualization and Virtual Reality (Chris Pettit and Arzu Coltekin) has now been published by  Subhash Sharma, Chris Pettit, Ian Bishop, Pang Chan and Falak Sheth. This paper examines how geo-visualisation tools can provide useful participatory planning support in addressing issues of land productivity and sustainability. The research team have developed an online landscape library, which has been integrated with a suite of geo-visualisation tools including a GIS based Landscape Constructor tool, a modified version of a 3D game engine SIEVE (Spatial Information Exploration and Visualisation Environment) and an interactive touch table display. The paper includes some preliminary evaluation of the tools and outlines some further research directions. The full manuscript can be accessed via the journal through the following link: http://www.mdpi.com/1999-5903/3/4/319/