On-Line Approaches to Data Delivery and Visualisation in Landscape Planning and Management

On-Line Approaches to Data Delivery and Visualisation in Landscape Planning and Management

Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/ijepr.2012010104
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Those involved in planning and management in landscape have long recognised the value of good information provided in the form of timely, appropriate and digestible data. Whether the data is part of government infrastructure or is augmented by contributions from the public, it is apparent that on-line delivery can help ensure that the best available data is accessible while visualisation techniques can make the data easier to interpret. A collaborative virtual environment then allows for cooperative decision-making in a well informed situation. Add smartphones into the technology mix and augmented reality presentation allows for in-field collaboration and also on-demand location specific data access and capture. A series of projects are described which illustrate this potential. A scenario for application in a situation of emergency management in the landscape concludes the paper.
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Data is important. This is widely acknowledged. However, the data we want may be not accessible, buried in masses of extraneous data, not specific to our location of interest or in a form that is not easily digested. This paper looks at ways of improving on this situation.

Effective planning and management depends on the availability of appropriate spatial data. Vast amounts of digital data now exist. These are mainly held by public organisations, although the ease of public access is very different according to national philosophies and practices in respect of data provision both within and outside of government. This is being changed somewhat by the emerging phenomenon of crowd sourced data sets (Goodchild, 2007; Seeger, 2008) and the preceding focus on democratisation of spatial data through public participation geographic information systems (PPGIS) or the subtly different participatory GIS (P-GIS) which were extensively reviewed by Sieber (2006). This paper largely assumes that the raw data is available and looks more particularly at how this is best made available and digestible, and also how it might be supplemented by local data collection.

After data comes technology. The literature on PPGIS and P-GIS is extensive and includes many examples of web-based approaches (Brent Hall, Chipeniuk, Feick, Leahy, & Deparday, 2010; Bugs, Granell, Fonts, Huerta, & Painho, 2010). The dominant approach is to provide both an on-line mapping service and an ability to annotate the maps with local geographic knowledge or reflections on local conditions. The technology can be used as either a catchall for non-specific use or as a means of gathering community sentiments in relation to particular projects. Typically such systems do not serve as tools to assist the public in making their own spatial decisions. They are also usually heavily map oriented. The literature on PPGIS, which includes visualisation as a component, is much more limited. This again is potentially a two-way source of communications. Newsam (2010) reports on the utility of community contributed photographs as a source of geographic discovery. Green (2010) discusses the use of various visualisation technologies within a PPGIS framework and asks to what extent these should be trusted and how legitimacy may be established. Baily and Grossardt (2010) introduce a fuzzy-logic-based approach to visual evaluation using photographs of roads and roadsides. Sheppard and Cizek (2009) introduce a number of case studies which use GoogleEarth to illustrate planning proposals of the effect of climate change. They also discuss the potentials and pit-falls associated with public use of these tools to argue the point on environmental impacts.

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