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Society/business Center for Information Technology Research and Innovation Support Virtual Reality and Visualisation

Landscape Visualisation

Blauwe Stad north of Winschoten
Blauwe Stad north of Winschoten

The Smitsborg, which is the ICT-centre of the University of Groningen, hosts two very advanced facilities for Virtual Reality: a CAVE and a Reality Theatre. These offer a lot of new and exciting opportunities for research, teaching and development. A SGI ONYX 3400 is used to compute a virtual 3D world, which is, displayed in one of the VR facilities. You can move and interact in this virtual world. Virtual worlds are very useful for the planning and the presentation of environmental designs.

Design visualisation

As long as computers exist, technical oriented environmental planners, architects and industrial designers had dreams to apply computer graphics techniques in the planning and presentation process. But for a long time, practical reasons prevented the wide use of these types of applications. Only very large companies could afford equipment to visualise the design process of cars, aircraft's etc. But in the meantime, advances in technology changed a lot. Presently, the price of hardware for environmental visualisation fits in principle within the budgets of universities. However, for many individuals the prices are still too high.

Because of a policy of technical innovation, the Board of the University of Groningen, decided to buy advanced VR facilities, with which state of the art landscape and other spatial visualisations can be realised. In the meantime, the amount of expertise of the HPC&V with these facilities is such, that a few successful landscape visualisation projects could be finished.

Visual inspection

Fitting is important if you buy and select clothes in a shop. Standing in front of a mirror in a clothes shop with a new costume, we ask ourselves: Does this costume fit me? In many other circumstances, visual inspection is equally important in the decision process. Suppose a large oilcompany wants to place a drilling rig in a landscape. Then such questions as "Does this rig fit in the landscape?" and "At which position will neighbours have the least hindrance of the drilling rig?" will arise. Instead of a drilling rig, you can as well take the design and the placement of a large office building in an existing urban environment. In both cases planners and people living near the new objects are interested in the visual impact.

Two successful projects

The first successful project of landscape visualisation is called De Blauwe Stad after an agricultural area north of Winschoten that will be changed to a water recreation area with luxurious houses. By simulation of the landscape with VR technology, present inhabitants of that area can see and experience how their environment will change. Project developers can show purchasers how their new to built houses is situated within the environment.

The second project concerns the placement of drillings rigs in a landscape by order of a large gascompany. A good visualisation provided with the possibility to make quick adaptations in the placement of the drilling rig, can be an excellent tool to inform people living in the area and the politicians in office.

Drilling rig to be placed in a landscape
Drilling rig to be placed in a landscape
Laatst gewijzigd:02 oktober 2015 22:23