Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Energy Explorer

Sunday, January 11th, 2015
Energyexplorer is a website that comes out of research at UBC Vancouver aimed at building public energy literacy. By interacting with highly visual and contextually relevant information, Metro Vancouver citizens are encouraged to uncover how energy is an intricate part of their community. From a technical point of view, the resolution of the data is extraordinary which I think became possible through using LiDAR data. Furthermore, I’m very impressed with the fantastic representation on top of a topographic basemap.

Energy Explorer

Rory Toke, the main developer behind the Energy Explorer, is also running a blog intended for those people interested in tracking the progress and participating in the development of the Community Energy Explorer project. Find his blog at or now in our blogroll on the right.

Elvis’ 80th birthday

Sunday, January 11th, 2015

Graceland: This January 8th, Elvis Presley, who inspired the name of this blog, would have his 80th birthday. His fans will always remember him and his birthday was celebrated around the globe. Happy Birthday Elvis! ;-)


Thursday, November 27th, 2014

Last week, VisAdapt, a web-tool to assist Nordic (Sweden, Denmark, Norway) home owners to adapt to climate change, has been launched. It is developed within the Nordic Centre of Excellence Nordic Strategic Adaptation Research (Nord-star).You just type in the address of your house and choose the characteristics/building materials of your house and the tool will give you an estimate of regional climate change predictions for your region and how your house will perform under those conditions.

If you would like to give it a try, please visit:

Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 22.45.49

Review of mapping software for landscape purposes

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

Please have a look at the following blog post, in which Rory Toke from the Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning (CALP) at the University of British Columbia (UBC) is reviewing various mapping software packages. Most helpful!

CALP 2014

CALP 2014

Digital Landscape Architecture DLA2014 in Zurich

Friday, July 4th, 2014
Juergen Doellner (2014): Service-Oriented Geovisualization for Geodesign

Juergen Doellner (2014): Service-Oriented Geovisualization for Geodesign

This year, the Digital Landscape Architecture (DLA) conference celebrated its anniversary. For its anniversary, DLA had picked a special place – the HIT Lab at ETH in Zurich. Among the many very good presentations, workshops and keynotes, I would like to point you to a couple of keynotes addressing new technological advances in the field of landscape visualization:

Marc Pollefeys:
Using Photographs to Build and Augment 3D Models

Jürgen Döllner: Service-Oriented Geovisualization for Geodesign
Service-Oriented Geovisualization for Geodesign

If you follow the link below, you will be able to watch all other keynotes as video streams:

Future is all change with digital technology

Friday, April 4th, 2014

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

Sunday, April 7th, 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

"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

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

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

Thursday, October 25th, 2012
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

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

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.