Traditional planning processes use two-dimensional drawings, plans, sections, elevations and artists‟ impressions to communicate design intent to interested parties. Three-dimensional computer visualisation technologies that support the planning process raise institutional and organisational challenges as their perceived benefits are considered. Virtual Reality (VR) models add interactivity and immersiveness to landscape visualisations but require appropriate technical input and management.\ud This paper explores two main themes. Firstly, how interactive 3D computer simulations of planning proposals can be adopted to successfully improve the traditional process. It reports on a pilot study to examine how architects, clients, planning officers and university researchers have worked together to systematically examine and analyse this changing process. It reports on issues concerned with ownership of city models, the roles and the compatibility, accuracy and remote sharing of urban data.\ud Secondly, we explore the emerging theme of web-based GIS applications and their impact on architectural visualisation. The process of placing urban data onto Google Earth was tested and the resulting issues emerging with this software, including IT and data management and accuracy issues for suitable architectural visualisation are discussed. The study also reports and offers an overview of placing accurate urban landscape data onto Google Earth and a discussion of using this method for online public participation and communicating technical building information
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