How to engage communities and citizens to experience quantitative and qualitative data on the tangible and sensory aspects of a city during different times?
What makes a city a great place in which to live, work and relax? Sophisticated metrics have been developed on the component parts such as patterns of use, transport infrastructure and climate; these and a wide range of other data underpin our understanding of liveability. Such indices can be supplemented with text, photography to illustrate some qualitative aspects of place, however many of the intangible and sensory are very difficult to visualise and communicate.
The increasing ubiquity of virtual and augmented reality provide new opportunities to explore the multi-sensory and temporal aspects of urban place. We take government data of various aspects, which are placed as 3D models, vegetations, spatially distinct sound emitters that combine to generate a dynamic experience as the user moves through the scene. We also foreground the temporal character of urban place, with the intent of enabling the end user to ‘dial up’ different time and dates of the development and environmental conditions of the place.
A prototype application has been developed that can be simultaneously broadcast to screen and surround sound systems, to allow individual and small group evaluation of city scenes. The application uses a haptic interface (oculus touch), which enables the user to hold a virtual smartphone as the interface. The menu includes a handheld map with hotspots to allow teleporting around the site, as well as free movement within the scene. User can also ‘dial up’ the time and dates, access videos that capture typical movement paths through the site, select and hold supplementary drawings and photographs. Datasets such as energy consumption can be viewed on the virtual map as well. Projected developments and events are developed in the VR space, and an interface enables the user to switch between and experience the proposed interventions.
The prototype demonstrates proof-of-concept and informal feedback from participants and observers; there is much potential to develop the approach to enable the qualitative aspects place to be used to engage with communities, business and industry during the early stages of urban design.
Evidence of Work
Bureau of Meteorology
Description of Use: This dataset is used to create climate/weather senses.
Description of Use: photos and videos are used to create a "sensory" experience of a city
Melbourne Data: Building outlines 2015
Description of Use: This dataset with 3D information provides base models of the urban built environment.
Description of Use: This dataset shows the range of projects that VicRoads is undertaking in in the current year to improve the condition and safety of Victoria's roads. EnVisible City visualises this information so that the communities and the citizens are able to experience the road projects before they are in place.
Description of Use: This data provides insights on the land use and management practices plus observed and measured vegetation conditions of a region in Victoria, between the time 1788 to 2010. This data is used to demonstrate an example of how land is used and managed differently over time.
Melbourne Data: Tree canopies 2015 (Urban Forest)
Description of Use: We use this dataset with geo-location information for tree visualisation.
Melbourne Data: Major development projects
Description of Use: We visualise past and planned development to help citizens experiencing the differences of city in time.
Innovation space - A City Planning for Growth
Play Melbourne - A Creative City
Bounty: Making open data more open.
Activate Melbourne - A Prosperous City
My (Liveable) Victoria
Bounty: Is seeing truely believing?
More than apps and maps: help government decide with data