17,218 research outputs found

    Digital Urban - The Visual City

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    Nothing in the city is experienced by itself for a city’s perspicacity is the sum of its surroundings. To paraphrase Lynch (1960), at every instant, there is more than we can see and hear. This is the reality of the physical city, and thus in order to replicate the visual experience of the city within digital space, the space itself must convey to the user a sense of place. This is what we term the “Visual City”, a visually recognisable city built out of the digital equivalent of bricks and mortar, polygons, textures, and most importantly data. Recently there has been a revolution in the production and distribution of digital artefacts which represent the visual city. Digital city software that was once in the domain of high powered personal computers, research labs and professional software are now in the domain of the public-at-large through both the web and low-end home computing. These developments have gone hand in hand with the re-emergence of geography and geographic location as a way of tagging information to non-proprietary web-based software such as Google Maps, Google Earth, Microsoft’s Virtual Earth, ESRI’s ArcExplorer, and NASA’s World Wind, amongst others. The move towards ‘digital earths’ for the distribution of geographic information has, without doubt, opened up a widespread demand for the visualization of our environment where the emphasis is now on the third dimension. While the third dimension is central to the development of the digital or visual city, this is not the only way the city can be visualized for a number of emerging tools and ‘mashups’ are enabling visual data to be tagged geographically using a cornucopia of multimedia systems. We explore these social, textual, geographical, and visual technologies throughout this chapter

    Information Rich 3D Computer Modeling of Urban Environments

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    We are living in an increasingly information rich society. Geographical Information Systems now allow us to precisely tag information to specific features, objects and locations. The Internet is enabling much of this information to be accessed by a whole spectrum of users. At CASA we are attempting to push this technology towards a three-dimensional GIS, that works across the Internet and can represent significant chunks of a large city. We believe that the range of possible uses for such technology is diverse, although we feel that urban planning is an area that can benefit greatly. An opportunity to push this “planning technology” arose when CASA won a tender from Hackney Council to develop a dynamic website for community participation in the process of regenerating the Woodberry Down Estate. This is a run down part of northeast London that is undergoing a major redevelopment. CASA has developed a system that not only informs the local residents about the redevelopment process but it also enables them to use dynamic visualisations of the “before and after effects” of different plans, and then to discuss and vote on the variety of options

    The politics of Istanbul's Ottoman heritage in the era of globalism

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    History is not merely about events which remind of the past, it is also about political struggles in the present. This is particularly so in contemporary cultural markets where 'history' is increasingly produced and disseminated in a host of commercialized forms. This paper focuses on competing 'historical' narratives which circulate across Istanbul's cultural markets, as they mediate between between the past and the ethnographic present of the city. These are 'political' narratives in the sense that they mobilize alternative versions of Istanbul's Ottoman past, from different class locations and address different constituencies

    Constructing Melchior Lorichs's 'Panorama of Constantinople'

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    In Constructing Melchior Lorichs's Panorama of Constantinople, Nigel Westbrook, Kenneth Rainsbury Dark, and Rene Van Meeuwen propose that Melchior Lorichs's 1559 Panorama of Constantinople was created by using a viewing grid. The panorama is thus a reliable graphic source for the lost or since-altered Ottoman and Byzantine buildings of the city. The panorama appears to lie outside the conventional symbolic mode of topographical depiction common for its period and constitutes a rare "scientific" record of an encounter of a perspicacious observer with a vast subject. The drawing combines elements of allegory with extensive empirical observation. Several unknown structures, shown on the drawing, have been located in relation to the present-day topography of Istanbul, as a test-case for further research

    Space and camera path reconstruction for omni-directional vision

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    In this paper, we address the inverse problem of reconstructing a scene as well as the camera motion from the image sequence taken by an omni-directional camera. Our structure from motion results give sharp conditions under which the reconstruction is unique. For example, if there are three points in general position and three omni-directional cameras in general position, a unique reconstruction is possible up to a similarity. We then look at the reconstruction problem with m cameras and n points, where n and m can be large and the over-determined system is solved by least square methods. The reconstruction is robust and generalizes to the case of a dynamic environment where landmarks can move during the movie capture. Possible applications of the result are computer assisted scene reconstruction, 3D scanning, autonomous robot navigation, medical tomography and city reconstructions

    Visual communication in urban planning and urban design

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    This report documents the current status of visual communication in urban design and planning. Visual communication is examined through discussion of standalone and network media, specifically concentrating on visualisation on the World Wide Web(WWW).Firstly, we examine the use of Solid and Geometric Modelling for visualising urban planning and urban design. This report documents and compares examples of the use of Virtual Reality Modelling Language (VRML) and proprietary WWW based Virtual Reality modelling software. Examples include the modelling of Bath and Glasgow using both VRML 1.0 and 2.0. A review is carried out on the use of Virtual Worldsand their role in visualising urban form within multi-user environments. The use of Virtual Worlds is developed into a case study of the possibilities and limitations of Virtual Internet Design Arenas (ViDAs), an initiative undertaken at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, University College London. The use of Virtual Worlds and their development towards ViDAs is seen as one of the most important developments in visual communication for urban planning and urban design since the development plan.Secondly, photorealistic media in the process of communicating plans is examined.The process of creating photorealistic media is documented, examples of the Virtual Streetscape and Wired Whitehall Virtual Urban Interface System are provided. The conclusion is drawn that although the use of photo-realistic media on the WWW provides a way to visually communicate planning information, its use is limited. The merging of photorealistic media and solid geometric modelling is reviewed in the creation of Augmented Reality. Augmented Reality is seen to provide an important step forward in the ability to quickly and easily visualise urban planning and urban design information.Thirdly, the role of visual communication of planning data through GIS is examined interms of desktop, three dimensional and Internet based GIS systems. The evolution to Internet GIS is seen as a critical component in the development of virtual cities which will allow urban planners and urban designers to visualise and model the complexity of the built environment in networked virtual reality.Finally a viewpoint is put forward of the Virtual City, linking Internet GIS with photorealistic multi-user Virtual Worlds. At present there are constraints on how far virtual cities can be developed, but a view is provided on how these networked virtual worlds are developing to aid visual communication in urban planning and urban design

    The sightseeing attractions of Wrocław and their potential exploitation

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    The article presents the more important results of research concerning the sightseeing attractions of Wrocław which can then be used to inform the organisation of the tourism offer of the city


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    The paper aims to investigate the possibilities of using the panorama-based VR to survey data related to that set of activities for planning and management of urban areas, belonging to the Smart Cities strategies. The core of our workflow is to facilitate the visualization of the data produced by the infrastructures of the Smart Cities. A graphical interface based on spherical panoramas, instead of complex three-dimensional could help the user/citizen of the city to better know the operation related to control units spread in the urban area. From a methodological point of view three different kind of spherical panorama acquisition has been tested and compared in order to identify a semi-automatic procedure for locating homologous points on two or more spherical images starting from a point cloud obtained from the same images. The points thus identified allow to quickly identify the same hot-spot on multiple images simultaneously. The comparison shows how all three systems have proved to be useful for the purposes of the research but only one has proved to be reliable from a geometric point of view to identify the locators useful for the construction of the virtual tour